Deterministic memory abstraction and supporting multicore system architecture
Valsan, Prathap Kumar
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Citation (published version)Farzad Farshchi, Prathap Kumar Valsan, Renato Mancuso, Heechul Yun. "Deterministic Memory Abstraction and Supporting Multicore System Architecture."
Poor timing predictability of multicore processors has been a long-standing challenge in the real-time systems community. In this paper, we make a case that a fundamental problem that prevents efficient and predictable real-time computing on multicore is the lack of a proper memory abstraction to express memory criticality, which cuts across various layers of the system: the application, OS, and hardware. We, therefore, propose a new holistic resource management approach driven by a new memory abstraction, which we call Deterministic Memory. The key characteristic of deterministic memory is that the platform - the OS and hardware - guarantees small and tightly bounded worst-case memory access timing. In contrast, we call the conventional memory abstraction as best-effort memory in which only highly pessimistic worst-case bounds can be achieved. We propose to utilize both abstractions to achieve high time predictability but without significantly sacrificing performance. We present deterministic memory-aware OS and architecture designs, including OS-level page allocator, hardware-level cache and DRAM controller designs. We implement the proposed OS and architecture extensions on Linux and gem5 simulator. Our evaluation results, using a set of synthetic and real-world benchmarks, demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of our approach.