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An Effective Starvation Avoidance Mechanism to Enhance the Token Coherence Protocol

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3 Author(s)
Cuesta, B. ; Dept. of Comput. Eng., Univ. Politecnica de Valencia ; Robles, A. ; Duato, J.

Shared-memory multiprocessors are becoming to be formed by an increasingly larger number of nodes. In these systems, implementing cache coherence is a key issue. Token coherence is a low latency cache coherence protocol that avoids indirection for cache-to-cache misses and which does not require a totally-ordered interconnect. When races are rare, the protocol performs well thanks to the performance policy. Unfortunately, some medium/large systems and some applications that often access the same data simultaneously make races more common. As a result, the protocol does not perform as well as it could because it uses the persistent request mechanism to prevent starvation. This mechanism is too slow and inflexible because it overrides the performance policy. In consequence, the protocol slows down the system and does not take advantage of the flexibility and speed of the common case. We propose a new mechanism, namely priority requests, which replaces the persistent request one. Our mechanism solves races, while still respecting the performance policy, simply by ordering and giving a higher priority to requests suffering from starvation. Thus, our mechanism handles the tokens more efficiently and reduces the network traffic

Published in:

Parallel, Distributed and Network-Based Processing, 2007. PDP '07. 15th EUROMICRO International Conference on

Date of Conference:

7-9 Feb. 2007