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RE: memcpy prefetch

To: "'Greg Weeks'" <>, "'Ralf Baechle'" <>
Subject: RE: memcpy prefetch
From: "Michael Uhler" <>
Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2005 05:25:15 -0700
Cc: <>
Importance: Normal
In-reply-to: <>
Organization: MIPS Technologies, Inc.
Original-recipient: rfc822;
> What's the performance hit for doing a pref on a cache line that is 
> already pref'd? Does it turn into a nop, or do we get some horrible 
> degenerate case? Are 64 bit processors always at least 32 byte cache 
> line size? I don't really expect anyone to know the answers 
> right now. I 
> expect I'll need to time code to tell. This makes generating 
> them at run 
> time look better and better.

As very general rules of thumb:

- A pref to a line which is already in the cache take a cycle in the
load/store unit and does not go back out to the memory subsystem.  There are
some possible ships-passing-in-the-night scenarios, but most processors do
what you'd expect.

- Most 64-bit processors are built for high-end applications, and most
high-end processors most likely have at least 32-bit lines.  One usually has
smaller line sizes when the processor is intended for lower-end
applications, or where the memory subsystem isn't all that good.


Michael Uhler, Chief Technology Officer
MIPS Technologies, Inc.   Email: uhler at
1225 Charleston Road
Mountain View, CA 94043

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