Raghavan, Arun

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Now showing 1 - 2 of 2
  • Publication
    Adding Token Counting to Directory-Based Cache Coherence
    (2008-06-04) Raghavan, Arun; Blundell, Colin; Martin, Milo M.K.
    The coherence protocol is a first-order design concern in multicore designs. Directory protocols are naturally scalable, as they place no restrictions on the interconnect and have minimal bandwidth requirements; however, this scalability comes at the cost of increased sharing latency due to indirection. In contrast, broadcast-based systems such as snooping protocols and token coherence reduce latency of sharing misses by sending requests directly to other processors. Unfortunately, their reliance on totally ordered interconnects and/or broadcast limits their scalability. This work introduces PATCH (Predictive/Adaptive Token Counting Hybrid), a coherence protocol that provides the scalability of directory protocols while opportunistically using available bandwidth to reduce sharing latency. PATCH extends a standard directory protocol to track tokens and use token counting rules for enforcing coherence permissions. Token counting allows PATCH to support direct requests on an unordered interconnect, while a novel mechanism called token tenure uses local processor timeouts and the directory’s per-block point of ordering at the home node to guarantee forward progress without relying on broadcast. PATCH makes three main contributions. First, PATCH uses direct request prioritization to match the performance of broadcast-based protocols without restricting scalability. Second, PATCH introduces token tenure, which provides broadcast-free forward progress for token counting protocols. Finally, PATCH provides greater scalability than directory protocols when using inexact encodings of sharers because only processors holding tokens need to acknowledge requests. Overall, PATCH is a “one-size-fits-all” coherence protocol that dynamically adapts to work well for small systems, large systems, and anywhere in between
  • Publication
    Computational Sprinting: Exceeding Sustainable Power in Thermally Constrained Systems
    (2013-01-01) Raghavan, Arun
    Although process technology trends predict that transistor sizes will continue to shrink for a few more generations, voltage scaling has stalled and thus future chips are projected to be increasingly more power hungry than previous generations. Particularly in mobile devices which are severely cooling constrained, it is estimated that the peak operation of a future chip could generate heat ten times faster than than the device can sustainably vent. However, many mobile applications do not demand sustained performance; rather they comprise short bursts of computation in response to sporadic user activity. To improve responsiveness for such applications, this dissertation proposes computational sprinting, in which a system greatly exceeds sustainable power margins (by up to 10x) to provide up to a few seconds of high-performance computation when a user interacts with the device. Computational sprinting exploits the material property of thermal capacitance to temporarily store the excess heat generated when sprinting. After sprinting, the chip returns to sustainable power levels and dissipates the stored heat when the system is idle. This dissertation: (i) broadly analyzes thermal, electrical, hardware, and software considerations to analyze the feasibility of engineering a system which can provide the responsiveness of a plat- form with 10x higher sustainable power within today's cooling constraints, (ii) leverages existing sources of thermal capacitance to demonstrate sprinting on a real system today, and (iii) identifies the energy-performance characteristics of sprinting operation to determine runtime sprint pacing policies.