IEEE Transactions on Computers (TC) has moved to the OnlinePlus publication model starting with 2013 issues!

From the July 2014 issue

APC: A Novel Memory Metric and Measurement Methodology for Modern Memory Systems

By Dawei Wang and Xian-He Sun

Featured article thumbnail imageDue to the infamous "memory wall" problem and a drastic increase in the number of data intensive applications, memory rather than processors has become the leading performance bottleneck in modern computing systems. Evaluating and understanding memory system performance is increasingly becoming the core of high-end computing. Conventional memory metrics, such as miss ratio, AMAT, etc., are designed to measure a given memory performance parameter, and do not reflect the overall performance or complexity of a modern memory system. On the other hand, widely used system-performance metrics, such as IPC, are designed to measure CPU performance, and do not directly reflect memory performance. In this paper, we propose a novel memory metric called Access Per Cycle (APC), which is the number of data accesses per cycle, to measure the overall memory performance with respect to the complexity of modern memory systems. A unique contribution of APC is its separation of memory evaluation from CPU evaluation; therefore, it provides a quantitative measurement of the "data-intensiveness" of an application. Simulation results show that the memory performance measured by APC captures the concurrency complexity of modern memory systems, while other metrics cannot. APC is simple, effective, and is significantly more appropriate than existing memory metrics in evaluating modern memory systems.

download PDF View the PDF of this article      csdl View this issue in the digital library

Editorials and Announcements


New Essential Set


Guest Editorials

Reviewers List

Annual Index

Access Recently Published TC Articles

RSS Subscribe to the RSS feed of latest TC content added to the digital library

Mail Sign up for the Transactions Connection newsletter.

Importance of Coherence Protocols with Network Applications on Multi-Core Processors


Automated Generation of Performance and Dependability Models for the Assessment of Wireless Sensor Networks


IEEE Transactions on Computers (TC) is a monthly publication that publishes research in such areas as computer organizations and architectures, digital devices, operating systems, and new and important applications and trends. 
Read the full scope of TC