By sprack on Jun 13, 2008
I've been spending some time over recent years looking into the potential for leveraging compression on various off-chip links. In July's issue of IEEE Transactions on Computing, there is an article covering some of this work - focussing specifically on links to memory. The paper can be found here.
Basically, the article illustrates that on a wide variety of workloads (SPECcpu, media and commercial), a number of simple compression techniques will yield significant reductions in the amount of data that needs to be transmitted over the link (for both reads and write-backs). Accordingly, leveraging these techniques can deliver significant benefits - cost reduction, power reduction and potentially even performance improvements.