Mitosis based speculative multithreaded architectures
ColaboratorCodina Viñas, Josep Mª; Marcuello Pascual, Pedro; González Colás, Antonio María; Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. Departament d'Arquitectura de Computadors
Document typeDoctoral thesis
PublisherUniversitat Politècnica de Catalunya
Rights accessOpen Access
In the last decade, industry made a right-hand turn and shifted towards multi-core processor designs, also known as Chip-Multi-Processors (CMPs), in order to provide further performance improvements under a reasonable power budget, design complexity, and validation cost. Over the years, several processor vendors have come out with multi-core chips in their product lines and they have become mainstream, with the number of cores increasing in each processor generation. Multi-core processors improve the performance of applications by exploiting Thread Level Parallelism (TLP) while the Instruction Level Parallelism (ILP) exploited by each individual core is limited. These architectures are very efficient when multiple threads are available for execution. However, single-thread sections of code (single-thread applications and serial sections of parallel applications) pose important constraints on the benefits achieved by parallel execution, as pointed out by Amdahl’s law. Parallel programming, even with the help of recently proposed techniques like transactional memory, has proven to be a very challenging task. On the other hand, automatically partitioning applications into threads may be a straightforward task in regular applications, but becomes much harder for irregular programs, where compilers usually fail to discover sufficient TLP. In this scenario, two main directions have been followed in the research community to take benefit of multi-core platforms: Speculative Multithreading (SpMT) and Non-Speculative Clustered architectures. The former splits a sequential application into speculative threads, while the later partitions the instructions among the cores based on data-dependences but avoid large degree of speculation. Despite the large amount of research on both these approaches, the proposed techniques so far have shown marginal performance improvements. In this thesis we propose novel schemes to speed-up sequential or lightly threaded applications in multi-core processors that effectively address the main unresolved challenges of previous approaches. In particular, we propose a SpMT architecture, called Mitosis, that leverages a powerful software value prediction technique to manage inter-thread dependences, based on pre-computation slices (p-slices). Thanks to the accuracy and low cost of this technique, Mitosis is able to effectively parallelize applications even in the presence of frequent dependences among threads. We also propose a novel architecture, called Anaphase, that combines the best of SpMT schemes and clustered architectures. Anaphase effectively exploits ILP, TLP and Memory Level Parallelism (MLP), thanks to its unique finegrain thread decomposition algorithm that adapts to the available parallelism in the application.
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