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Analytic evaluation of shared-memory architectures

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4 Author(s)
Sorin, D.J. ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Duke Univ., Durham, NC, USA ; Lemon, J.L. ; Eager, D.L. ; Vernon, M.K.

This paper develops and validates an efficient analytical model for evaluating the performance of shared memory architectures with ILP processors. First, we instrument the SimOS simulator to measure the parameters for such a model and we find a surprisingly high degree of processor memory request heterogeneity in the workloads. Examining the model parameters provides insight into application behaviors and how they interact with the system. Second, we create a model that captures such heterogeneous processor behavior, which is important for analyzing memory system design tradeoffs. Highly bursty memory request traffic and lock contention are also modeled in a significantly more robust way than in previous work. With these features, the model is applicable to a wide range of architectures and applications. Although the features increase the model complexity, it is a useful design tool because the size of the model input parameter set remains manageable, and the model is still several orders of magnitude quicker to solve than detailed simulation. Validation results show that the model is highly accurate, producing heterogeneous per processor throughputs that are generally within 5 percent and, for the workloads validated, always within 13 percent of the values measured by detailed simulation with SimOS. Several examples illustrate applications of the model to studying architectural design issues and the interactions between the architecture and the application workloads.

Published in:

Parallel and Distributed Systems, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:14 ,  Issue: 2 )