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Evaluating Effects of Cache Memory Compression on Embedded Systems

Anderson Farias Briglia (anderson.briglia@indt.org.br)

Cache memory compression (or compressed caching) was originally developed for desktop and server platforms but has also attracted interest on embedded systems where generally, memory is a scarce resource and hardware changes bring more costs and energy consumption. Cache memory compression brings a considerable advantage in input-output intensive applications by means of using a virtually larger cache for the local file system through compression algorithms. As a result, it increases the probability of fetching the necessary data in RAM itself, avoiding the need to make low calls to local storage. This work evaluates an Open Source implementation of the cache memory compression applied to Linux on an embedded platform, dealing with the unavoidable processor and memory resource limitations as well as with existing architectural differences.

We will describe the Compressed Cache (CCache) design, compression algorithm used, memory behavior tests, performance and power consumption overheads and CCache tuning for embedded Linux.