Relative performance of hardware and software-only directory protocols under latency tolerating and reducing techniques

H. Grahn, P. Stenstrom
Proceedings 11th International Parallel Processing Symposium  
In both hardware-only and software-only directory protocols the performance is often limited by memory access stall times. To increase the performance, several latency tolerating and reducing techniques have been proposed and shown effective for hardware-only directory protocols. For software-only directory protocols, the efficiency of a technique depends not only on how effective it is as seen by the local processor, but also on how it impacts the software handler execution overhead in the
more » ... overhead in the node where a memory block is allocated. Based on architectural simulations and case studies of three techniques, we find that prefetching can degrade the performance of software-only directory protocols due to useless prefetches. A relaxed memory consistency model hides all write latency for software-only directory protocols, but the software handler overhead is virtually unaffected and now constitutes a larger portion of the execution time. Overall, latency tolerating techniques for software-only directory protocols must be chosen with more care than for hardware-only directory protocols.
doi:10.1109/ipps.1997.580946 dblp:conf/ipps/GrahnS97 fatcat:3sr343o3lvez3gyc7xb56xxaoy