This chapter presents the physical implementation (gate/transistor level) and architectural organization of modern-day caches, including a discussion of how this fits in a typical pipeline. One of the most important implementation issues today is that of dealing with the increasingly significant effects of technology scaling. In modern cache implementation, technology scaling exposes and/or exacerbates the following problems:
• The subthreshold leakage current caused by decreasing transistor threshold voltages becomes larger, increasing static power dissipation and requiring both evolutionary and revolutionary solutions to offset its effects.
• The decreasing amount of charge stored per bit makes it easier to ...