Abstract: For multimedia applications, loop buffering is an efficient
mechanism to reduce the power in the instruction memory of embedded processors.
Especially software controlled loop buffers are energy efficient. However
current compilers do not fully take advantage of the possibilities of such loop
buffers. This paper presents an algorithm to explore for an application or a
set of applications what is the optimal loop buffer configuration and the
optimal way to use this configuration. Results for the MediaBench application
suite show an additional 35% reduction (on average) in energy in the
instruction memory hierarchy as compared to traditional approaches to the loop
buffer without any performance implications.
Keywords: Low power design, memory hierarchies, instruction memories, loop buffer, loop cache, design space exploration, multimedia applications, embedded systems