CAWA: Coordinated warp scheduling and cache prioritization for critical warp acceleration of GPGPU workloads

Shin Ying Lee, Akhil Arunkumar, Carole-Jean Wu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

64 Scopus citations


The ubiquity of graphics processing unit (GPU) architectures has made them efficient alternatives to chip-multiprocessors for parallel workloads. GPUs achieve superior performance by making use of massive multi-threading and fast context-switching to hide pipeline stalls and memory access latency. However, recent characterization results have shown that general purpose GPU (GPGPU) applications commonly encounter long stall latencies that cannot be easily hidden with the large number of concurrent threads/warps. This results in varying execution time disparity between different parallel warps, hurting the overall performance of GPUs - the warp criticality problem. To tackle the warp criticality problem, we propose a coordinated solution, criticality-aware warp acceleration (CAWA), that efficiently manages compute and memory resources to accelerate the critical warp execution. Specifically, we design (1) an instruction-based and stall-based criticality predictor to identify the critical warp in a thread-block, (2) a criticality-aware warp scheduler that preferentially allocates more time resources to the critical warp, and (3) a criticality-aware cache reuse predictor that assists critical warp acceleration by retaining latency-critical and useful cache blocks in the L1 data cache. CAWA targets to remove the significant execution time disparity in order to improve resource utilization for GPGPU workloads. Our evaluation results show that, under the proposed coordinated scheduler and cache prioritization management scheme, the performance of the GPGPU workloads can be improved by 23% while other state-of-the-art schedulers, GTO and 2-level schedulers, improve performance by 16% and -2% respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationISCA 2015 - 42nd Annual International Symposium on Computer Architecture, Conference Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781450334020
StatePublished - Jun 13 2015
Event42nd Annual International Symposium on Computer Architecture, ISCA 2015 - Portland, United States
Duration: Jun 13 2015Jun 17 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings - International Symposium on Computer Architecture
ISSN (Print)1063-6897


Other42nd Annual International Symposium on Computer Architecture, ISCA 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hardware and Architecture


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