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A multithreaded processor designed for distributed shared memory systems

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2 Author(s)
Grunewald, W. ; Dept. of Comput. Design & Fault Tolerance, Karlsruhe Univ., Germany ; Ungerer, T.

The multithreaded processor-called Rhamma-uses a fast context switch to bridge latencies caused by memory accesses or by synchronization operations. Load/store, synchronization, and execution operations of different threads of control are executed simultaneously by appropriate functional units. A fast context switch is performed whenever a functional unit comes across an operation that is destined for another unit. The overall performance depends on the speed of the context switch. We present two techniques to reduce the context switch cost to at most one processor cycle: A context switch is explicitly coded in the opcode, and a context switch buffer is used. The load/store unit shows up as the principal bottleneck. We evaluate four implementation alternatives of the load/store unit to increase processor performance

Published in:

Advances in Parallel and Distributed Computing, 1997. Proceedings

Date of Conference:

19-21 Mar 1997