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Method for a counter-based mechanism for the prevention of resource starvation in multithreaded processors

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000033802D
Publication Date: 2004-Dec-28
Document File: 3 page(s) / 36K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a method for a counter-based mechanism for the prevention of resource starvation in multithreaded processors. Benefits include improved functionality and improved performance.

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Method for a counter-based mechanism for the prevention of resource starvation in multithreaded processors

Disclosed is a method for a counter-based mechanism for the prevention of resource starvation in multithreaded processors. Benefits include improved functionality and improved performance.

Background

              Simultaneous multithreading enables the execution of multiple threads to overlap on a processor by the sharing of the processor’s resources. A resource can be hard partitioned (fixed partitions) or dynamically partitioned for the threads. With dynamic partitioning, some threads can obtain too much of one resource, preventing other threads from continuing to process. An example of such a resource is the physical register file. If stalled threads are retaining some other critical resource when they stop processing, a deadlock is created.

              Several methods are conventionally available to prevent deadlocks due to resource starvation. One solution is to hard partition the resource. This approach is fair to all threads but results in lower performance. The resource cannot be shifted from slower-running threads to faster-running threads.

              Another method is to make the resource large enough to guarantee that all threads always have enough of the resource to continue processing. However, this approach can have a higher silicon cost.

General description

              The disclosed method is a counter-based mechanism for the prevention of resource starvation in multithreaded processors. A counter is assed to each thread for tracking the amount of a resource that is being used by the thread. When the counter reached a set threshold, the thread is prevented from obtaining more of the resource.

Advantages

              The disclosed method provides advantages, including:

•             Improved functionality due to preventing execution deadlocks due to resource starvation by the use of counters

•             Improved performance due to ensuring that each thread has the minimum amount of resource required for successful execution

•             Improved performance due to preventing execution deadlocks due to resource starvation

 


Detailed description

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