Supporting Microthread Scheduling and Synchronisation in CMPs

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Abstract

Chip multiprocessors (CMPs) hold great promise for achieving scalability in future systems. Microthreaded CMPs add a means of exploiting legacy code in such systems. Using this model, compilers generate parametric concurrency from sequential source code, which can be used to optimise a range of operational parameters such as power and performance over many orders of magnitude, given a scalable implementation. This paper shows scalability in performance, power and most importantly, in silicon implementation, the main contribution of this paper. The microthread model requires dynamic register allocation and a hardware scheduler, which must support hundreds of microthreads per processor. The scheduler must support thread creation, context switching and thread rescheduling on every machine cycle to fully support this model, which is a significant challenge. Scalable implementations of such support structures are given and the feasibility of large-scale CMPs is investigated by giving detailed area estimate of these structures.

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