An energy efficient cache design using spin torque transfer (STT) RAM
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The advent of many core architectures has coincided with the energy and power limited design of modern processors. Projections for main memory clearly show widening of the processor-memory gap. Cache capacity increased to help reduce this gap will lead to increased energy and area usage and due to small growth in die size, impede performance scaling that has accompanied Moore's Law to date. Among the dominant sources of energy consumption is the on-chip memory hierar- chy, specically the L2 cache and the Last Level Cache (LLC). This work explores the use of a novel non-volatile memory technology - Spin Torque Transfer RAM (STT RAM)" for the design of the L2/LLC caches. While STTRAM is a promising memory technology, it has some limitations, particularly in terms of write energy and write latencies. The main objectives of this thesis is to use a novel cell design for a non-volatile 1T1MTJ cell and demonstrate its use at the L2 and LLC cache levels with architectural optimizations to maximize energy reduction. The proposed cache hierarchy dissipates significantly lesser energy (both leakage and dynamic) and uses less area in comparison to a conventional SRAM based cache designs.