Computer Sciences Dept.

A Case for Deconstructing Hardware Transactional Memory Systems

Mark D. Hill, Derek Hower, Keven E. Moore, Michael M. Swift, Haris Volos and David A. Wood

Major hardware and software vendors are curious about transactional memory (TM), but are understandably cautious about committing to hardware changes. Our thesis is that deconstructing transactional memory into separate, interchangeable components facilitates TM adoption in two ways. First, it aids hardware TM refinement, allowing vendors to adopt TM earlier, knowing that they can more easily refine aspects later. Second, it enables the components to be applied to other uses, including reliability, security, performance, and correctness, providing value even if TM is not widely used. We develop some evidence for our thesis via experience with LogTM variants and preliminary case studies of scalable watch-points and race recording for deterministic replay.

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