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This work presents BMW, a new design for speculative implementations of memory consistency models in shared-memory multiprocessors. BMW obtains the same performance as prior proposals, but achieves this performance while avoiding several undesirable attributes of prior proposals: non-scalable structures, per-word valid bits in the data cache, modifications to the cache coherence protocol, and global arbitration.
BMW uses a read and write bit per cache block and a standard invalidation-based cache coherence protocol to perform conflict detection while speculating. While speculating, stores to block not in the cache are placed into a coalescing store buffer until those misses return. Stores are written speculatively to the primary cache, and non-speculative state is maintained by cleaning dirty blocks before being written speculatively. Speculative blocks are invalidated on abort and marked as non-speculative on commit. This organization allows for fast, local commits while avoiding a non-scalable store queue.
Colin Blundell, Milo M.K. Martin, and Tom Wenisch, "Improved Sequence-Based Speculation Techniques for Implementing Memory Consistency", . May 2008.
Date Posted: 01 June 2008