A Metadata Prefetching Mechanism for Hybrid Memory Architectures

Shunsuke Tsukada, Hikaru Takayashiki, Masayuki Sato, Kazuhiko Komatsu, Hiroaki Kobayashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A hybrid memory architecture (HMA) that consists of some distinct memory devices is expected to achieve a good balance between high performance and large capacity. Unlike conventional memory architectures, the HMA needs the metadata for data management since the data are migrated between the memory devices during the execution of an application. The memory controller caches the metadata to avoid accessing the memory devices for the metadata reference. However, as the amount of the metadata increases in proportion to the size of the HMA, the memory controller needs to handle a large amount of metadata. As a result, the memory controller cannot cache all the metadata and increases the number of metadata references. This results in an increase in the access latency to reach the target data and degrades the performance. To solve this problem, this paper proposes a metadata prefetching mechanism for HMAs. The proposed mechanism loads the metadata needed in the near future by prefetching. Moreover, to increase the effect of the metadata prefetching, the proposed mechanism predicts the metadata used in the near future based on an address difference that is the difference between two consecutive access addresses. The evaluation results show that the proposed metadata prefetching mechanism can improve the instructions per cycle by up to 44% and 9% on average.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-243
Number of pages12
JournalIEICE Transactions on Electronics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jun


  • address difference
  • hybrid memory architecture
  • metadata
  • performance
  • prefetch


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