Limoncello: Prefetchers for Scale

Akanksha Jain
Carlos Villavieja
Baris Kasikci
Proceedings of the 28th ACM International Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems, Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, United States(2024)

Abstract

This paper presents Limoncello, a novel software system that dynamically configures data prefetching for high utilization systems. We demonstrate that in resource-constrained environments, such as large data centers, traditional methods of hardware prefetching can increase memory latency and decrease available memory bandwidth. To address this, Limoncello dynamically configures data prefetching, disabling hardware prefetchers when memory bandwidth utilization is high and leveraging targeted software prefetching to reduce cache misses when hardware prefetchers are disabled. Limoncello is software-centric and does not require any modifications to hardware. Our evaluation of the deployment on a real-world hyperscale system reveals that Limoncello unlocks significant performance gains for high-utilization systems: it improves application throughput by 10%, due to a 15% reduction in memory latency, while maintaining minimal change in cache miss rate for targeted library functions.