An Investigation of thread scheduling heuristics for a simultaneous multithreaded processor

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Title: An Investigation of thread scheduling heuristics for a simultaneous multithreaded processor
Author: Zajac, Ralph Jr
Abstract: Over the years, the von Neumann model of computing has undergone many enhancements. These changes include an improved memory hierarchy, multiple instruction issue and branch predic tion. Since the model's introduction, the performance of processors has increased at a much greater rate than that of memory. Several modifications to hide this ever widening gap in performance are being examined in current research. A very promising one is the Simultaneous Multithreaded processor. This architecture strives to further reduce the effects of long latency instructions, such as memory accesses, by allowing multiple threads of execution to be active in the processor at the same time. With the introduction of multiple active threads in a single processor, several new aspects of processor operation can have a sizeable effect on performance. One such aspect is how to choose from which thread to fetch instructions during the next cycle. For this project, three different classes of fetch scheduling mechanisms were defined and exam ples of each were either studied or proposed. The proposed mechanisms were then tested using a set of four sample programs by adding the mechanisms to a Simultaneous Multithreading sim ulator based on the Simple Scalar tool set from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. With the proper configuration, each of the proposed mechanisms improved the performance of the simulated architecture. However, the best increase in performance was produced by the Event History Table. It achieved an IPC of 2.0995 for two threads while overriding the primary scheduling mechanism only 0.070% of the time.
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Date: 2000-09

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