Saturday September 17, 2016

New System Could Break Bottleneck In Microprocessors

A modern challenge of microprocessor design is figuring out how to make cores communicate with one another faster, and engineers at North Carolina State University and Intel believe the answer may come from shifting software queues to hardware. A dedicated set of logic circuits called the Queue Management Device have presented double core-to-core communication speed, with higher core counts resulting in even more pronounced improvement.

To preventآ…cores from wantonly overwriting each other’s information, processing data out of order, or committing other errors, multicore processors use lock-protected software queuesآ…But all that extra software comes with significant overhead, which only gets worse as the number of cores increases. The solutionآ—born of a discussion with Intel engineers and executed by Solihin's student, Yipeng Wang, at NC State and at Intelآ—was to turn the software queue into hardware. This effectively turned three multistep software queue operations into three simple instructionsآ—add data to the queue, take data from the queue, and put data near where it’s going to be needed next.