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Comparison of Hardware and Software Cache Coherence Schemes +,* Sarita V. Adve, Vikram S. Adve, Mark D. Hill, Mary K. Vernon
 

Summary: ­­ ­­
Comparison of Hardware and Software Cache Coherence Schemes +,*
Sarita V. Adve, Vikram S. Adve, Mark D. Hill, Mary K. Vernon
Computer Sciences Department
University of Wisconsin­Madison
Madison, WI 53706
ABSTRACT
We use mean value analysis models to compare representative hardware and software cache coherence
schemes for a large­scale shared­memory system. Our goal is to identify the workloads for which either of the
schemes is significantly better. Our methodology improves upon previous analytical studies and complements
previous simulation studies by developing a common high­level workload model that is used to derive separate
sets of low­level workload parameters for the two schemes. This approach allows an equitable comparison of the
two schemes for a specific workload.
Our results show that software schemes are comparable (in terms of processor efficiency) to hardware
schemes for a wide class of programs. The only cases for which software schemes perform significantly worse
than hardware schemes are when there is a greater than 15% reduction in hit rate due to inaccurate prediction of
memory access conflicts, or when there are many writes in the program that are not executed at runtime. For rela­
tively well­structured and deterministic programs, on the other hand, software schemes perform significantly
better than hardware schemes.
Keywords: hardware cache coherence, software cache coherence, mean value analysis, workload model

  

Source: Adve, Sarita - Department of Computer Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

 

Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences