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A Simulation Study of the CRAY X-MP Memory System

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2 Author(s)
Cheung, T. ; International Marketing Group of the Hewlett-Packard ; Smith, J.E.

One of the significant differences between the CRAY X-MP and its predecessor, the CRAY-1S, is a considerably increased memory bandwidth for vector operations. Up to three vector streams in each of the two processors may be active simultaneously. These streams contend for memory banks as well as data paths. All memory conflicts are resolved dynamically by the memory system. This paper describes a simulation study of the CRAY X-MP interleaved memory system with attention focused on steady state performance for sequences of vector operations. Because it is more amenable to analysis, we first study the interaction of vector streams issued from a single processor. We identify the occurrence of linked conflicts, repeating sequences of conflicts between two or more vector streams that result in reduced steady state performance. Both worst case and average case performance measures are given. The discussion then turns to dual processor interactions. Finally, based on our simulations, possible modifications to the CRAY X-MP memory system are proposed and compared. These modifications are intended to eliminate or reduce the effects of linked conflicts.

Published in:

Computers, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:C-35 ,  Issue: 7 )

Date of Publication:

July 1986

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