Temporally silent stores
SIGARCH Computer Architecture News
Recent work has shown that silent stores--stores which write a value matching the one already stored at the memory location--occur quite frequently and can be exploited to reduce memory traffic and improve performance. This paper extends the definition of silent stores to encompass sets of stores that change the value stored at a memory location, but only temporarily, and subsequently return a previous value of interest to the memory location. The stores that cause the value to revert are
... temporally silent stores. We redefine multiprocessor sharing to account for temporal silence and show that in the limit, up to 45% of communication misses in scientific and commercial applications can be eliminated by exploiting values that change only temporarily. We describe a practical mechanism that detects temporally silent stores and removes the coherence traffic they cause in conventional multiprocessors. We find that up to 42% of communication misses can be eliminated with a simple extension to the MESI protocol. Further, we examine application and operating system code to provide insight into the temporal silence phenomenon and characterize temporal silence by examining value frequencies and dynamic instruction distances between temporally silent pairs. These studies indicate that the operating system is involved heavily in temporal silence, in both commercial and scientific workloads, and that while detectable synchronization primitives provide substantial contributions, significant opportunity exists outside these references.