The authors present a translation lookaside buffer (TLB) system with low power consumption for embedded processors. The proposed TLB is constructed as multiple banks, each with an associated block buffer and a corresponding comparator. Either the block buffer or the main bank is selectively accessed on the basis of two bits in the tag buffer. Dynamic power savings are achieved by reducing the number of entries accessed in parallel, as a result of using the tag buffer as a filtering mechanism. The performance overhead of the proposed TLB is negligible compared with other hierarchical TLB structures. For example, the two-cycle overhead of the proposed TLB is only ∼1%, as compared with 5% overhead for a filter (micro)-TLB and 14% overhead for a banked-TLB with block buffering. The authors show that the average hit ratios of the block buffers and the main banks of the proposed TLB are 94% and 6%, respectively. Dynamic power is reduced by ∼93% with respect to a fully associative TLB, 87% with respect to a filter-TLB and 60% relative to a banked-TLB with block buffering. Therefore, significant power savings are achieved with only a small performance degradation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Theoretical Computer Science
- Hardware and Architecture
- Computational Theory and Mathematics