BulkSC: Bulk Enforcement of Sequential Consistency

  • Ceze L
  • Tuck J
  • Montesinos P
 et al. 
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While Sequential Consistency (SC) is the most intuitive memory consistency model and the one most programmers likely assume, current multiprocessors do not support it. Instead, they support more relaxed models that deliver high performance. SC implementations are considered either too slow or — when they can match the per- formance of relaxed models—too difficult to implement. In this paper, we propose Bulk Enforcement of SC (BulkSC),a novel way of providing SC that is simple to implement and offers performance comparable to Release Consistency (RC). The idea is to dynamically group sets of consecutive instructions into chunks that appear to execute atomically and in isolation. The hardware enforces SC at the coarse grain of chunks which, to the program, appears as providing SC at the individual memory access level. BulkSC keeps the implementation simple by largely decoupling memory consistency enforcement from processor structures. More- over, it delivers high performance by enabling full memory access reordering and overlapping within chunks and across chunks. We describe a complete system architecture that supports BulkSC and show that it delivers performance comparable to RC. Categories

Author-supplied keywords

  • bulk
  • chip multiprocessors
  • memory consistency models
  • programmability
  • sequential consistency

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  • Luis Ceze

  • James Tuck

  • Pablo Montesinos

  • Josep Torrellas

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