An Alternative Analytical Approach to Associative Processing (Best of CAL)


Associative Processing (AP) is a promising alternative to the Von Neumann model as it addresses the memory wall problem through its inherent in-memory computations. However, because of the countless design parameter choices, comparisons between implementations of two so radically different models are challenging for simulation-based methods. To tackle these challenges, we develop an alternative analytical approach based on a new concept called architecturally-determined complexity. Using this method, we asymptotically evaluate the runtime/storage/energy bounds of the two models, i.e., AP and Von Neumann. We further apply the method to gain more insights into the performance bottlenecks of traditional AP and develop a new machine model named Two Dimensional AP to address these limitations. Finally, we experimentally validate our analytical method and confirm that the simulation results match our theoretical projections.

IEEE Computer Architecture Letters, 17, (2), 113-116