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|Title:||Specifying Memory Consistency of Write Buffer Multiprocessors|
|Abstract:||Write buffering is one of many successful mechanisms that improves the performance and scalability of multiprocessors. However, it leads to more complex memory system behavior, which cannot be described using intuitive consistency models, such as sequential consistency. It is crucial to provide programmers with a specification of the exact behavior of such complex memories. This paper presents a uniform framework for describing systems at different levels of abstraction and proving their equivalence. The framework is used to derive and prove correct specification in terms of program-level instruction of the SPARC total store order and partial store order memories. <BR><BR>The framework is also used to examine the SPARC relaxed memory order. We show that it is not a memory consistency model that corresponds to any implementation on a multiprocessor that uses write-buffers, even though we suspect that the SPARC Version 9 specification of relaxed memory order was intended to capture a general write-buffer architecture. The same techniques can be used to show that coherence does not correspond to a write-buffer architecture. A corollary is that any implementation of Alpha consistency using write-buffers cannot produce all possible Alpha computations. That is, there are some computations that satisfy the Alpha specification but cannot occur in the given write-buffer implementation.|
|Appears in Collections:||Higham, Lisa|
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