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Helper threads via virtual multithreading

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10 Author(s)

Memory latency dominates the performance of many applications on modern processors, despite advances in caches and prefetching techniques. Numerous prefetching techniques, both in hardware and software, try to alleviate the memory bottleneck. One such technique, known as helper threading improves single-thread performance on a simultaneous multithreaded architecture (SMT), which shares processor resources, including caches, among logical threads. It uses otherwise idle hardware thread contexts to execute speculative threads on behalf of the main thread. Helper threading accelerates a program by exploiting a processor's multithreading capability to run assist threads. Based on the helper threading usage model, virtual multithreading (VMT), a form of switch-on-event user-level multithreading, can improve performance for real-world workloads with a wall-clock speedup of 5.0 to 38.5 percent

Published in:

Micro, IEEE  (Volume:24 ,  Issue: 6 )