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Conference Papers Year : 2022

Characterizing Prefetchers using CacheObserver


Hardware prefetchers are mostly undocumented micro-architectural components of the cache hierarchy, with performance and security implications. Intel CPUs feature four named prefetchers whose behaviors are generally unknown. We build CacheObserver, a generic framework to study prefetchers on Intel CPUs and the first to use the Flush+Flush primitive, unlike previous studies using Flush+Reload. We apply this framework to characterize the L2 Stream prefetcher on the Intel Whiskey and Coffee Lake micro-architectures and uncover the behavior of the L2 Stream prefetcher upon the first few accesses in a page. We also uncover interactions at the L2 level between the Stream and the Adjacent Cache Line prefetchers.
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hal-03798500 , version 1 (05-10-2022)


  • HAL Id : hal-03798500 , version 1


Guillaume Didier, Clémentine Maurice, Antoine Geimer, Walid J Ghandour. Characterizing Prefetchers using CacheObserver. IEEE 34th International Symposium on Computer Architecture and High Performance Computing, Nov 2022, Bordeaux, France. ⟨hal-03798500⟩
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