Conventional set‐associative caches, with higher associativity, provide lower miss rates. However, they suffer from longer hit access time and larger energy dissipation. Based on the consideration of different program localities, programs should have their own appropriate associativity of caches. In this paper, we propose a set‐associative cache that can provide flexibilities to adjust its associativity according to different program behaviors, which means that the proposed cache scheme can be adjusted from an n‐way set‐associative cache to a direct‐mapped cache. By use of this cache architecture, power consumption can be lowered when an n‐way set‐associative cache configures the cache with lower associativity (less than n) due to only enabling fewer subarrays of the tag memory and data memory. However, the performance is still maintained at the same level as in a conventional set‐associative cache or direct‐mapped cache. Adjustable‐way set‐associative caches can also be applied to multiprocessor systems to reduce the average, overall system, energy dissipation.
Journal of the Chinese Institute of Engineers=中國工程學刊 28(4), pp. 691- 700