Extending CC-NUMA systems to support write update optimizations


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Processor stalls and protocol messages caused by coherence misses limit the performance of shared memory applications. Modern multiprocessors employ write-invalidate coherence protocols, which induce read misses to ensure consistency. Previous research has shown that an invalidate protocol is not optimal for all memory access patterns - an update protocol can significantly outperform an invalidate protocol when data is heavily shared or accessed in predictable patterns. However, update protocols can generate excessive network traffic and are difficult to build on a scalable (non-bus) interconnect. To obtain the benefits of both invalidate and update protocols, we built a speculative sequentially consistent write-update mechanism on top of a write-invalidate protocol. To ensure coherence, a processor wishing to write to a block of data uses a traditional write-invalidate protocol to obtain exclusive access to the block before modifying it. To improve performance, the writing processor can later self-downgrade the modified block to the shared state and flush it back to its home node, which forwards the new data to processors that it predicts are likely to consume the data. We present a practical and cost-effective design for extending CC-NUMA systems to support this speculative update mechanism that requires no changes to the processor core, bus interface, or memory consistency model. We also present two hardware-efficient mechanisms for detecting access patterns that benefit from the speculative update mechanism, stable reader set and stream. We evaluate our update mechanisms on a wide range of scientific benchmarks and commercial applications. Using a cycle-accurate execution-driven simulator of a future 16-node SGI multiprocessor, we find that the mechanisms proposed in this paper reduce the average remote miss rate by 30%, reduce network traffic by 15%, and improve performance by 10%, and in no case hurt performance.
processor core,speculative update mechanism,invalidate protocol,update protocol,write-invalidate protocol,traditional write-invalidate protocol,protocol message,update optimizations,update mechanism,extending cc-numa system,new data,write-invalidate coherence protocol,shared memory,history,optimization,coherence,protocols,cost effectiveness,data mining,hardware,sequential consistency
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