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A Comparative Evaluation of Cache Coherence Schemes Based on Virtual Memory Support

Report ID:
April 1992
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This paper presents an evaluation of a new class of software cache
coherence schemes that use virtual memory (VM) support to maintain
multiprocessor cache coherence. Traditional VM translation hardware
in each processor detects memory access attempts that would violate
cache coherence and system software is used to enforce coherence. The
implementation of this class of coherence schemes is extremely
economical: it requires neither special multiprocessor hardware nor
compiler support, and easily incorporates different consistency
models. We have evaluated four consistency models for the VM-based
approach: sequential consistency, single-writer release consistency,
release consistency, and lazy release consistency. Our trace-driven
simulation results show that the VM-based cache coherence schemes are
practical for small-scale multiprocessors and that the performance of
lazy release consistency for multi-threaded parallel programs is close
to the snoopy-cache invalidation-based coherence approach.

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