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Tempest and Typhoon: user-level shared memory

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3 Author(s)
Reinhardt, S.K. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Wisconsin Univ., Madison, WI, USA ; Larus, J.R. ; Wood, D.A.

Future parallel computers must efficiently execute not only hand-coded applications but also programs written in high-level, parallel programming languages. Today's machines limit these programs to a single communication paradigm, either message-passing or shared-memory, which results in uneven performance. The authors address this problem by defining an interface, Tempest, that exposes low-level communication and memory-system mechanisms so programmers and compilers can customize policies for a given application. Typhoon is a proposed hardware platform that implements these mechanisms with a fully-programmable, user-level processor in the network interface. The authors demonstrate the utility of Tempest with two examples. First, the Stache protocol uses Tempest's fine-grain access control mechanisms to manage part of a processor's local memory as a large, fully-associative cache for remote data. The authors simulated Typhoon on the Wisconsin Wind Tunnel and found that Stache running on Typhoon performs comparably (±30%) to an all-hardware DirNNB cache-coherence protocol for five shared-memory programs. Second, they illustrate how programmers or compilers can use Tempest's flexibility to exploit an application's sharing patterns with a custom protocol. For the EM3D application, the custom protocol improves performance up to 35% over the all-hardware protocol

Published in:

Computer Architecture, 1994., Proceedings the 21st Annual International Symposium on

Date of Conference:

18-21 Apr 1994