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Volume 6 / Issue 10

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DOI:   10.3217/jucs-006-10-1015


Data Driven Network Of Workstations (D²NOW)

Paraskevas Evripidou (Department of Computer Science, University of Cyprus, Cyprus)

Costas Kyriacou (Department of Computer Science, University of Cyprus, Cyprus)

Abstract: This paper presents the Data Driven Network Of Workstations (DNOW), a multithreaded architecture that is based on the Decoupled Data Driven model of execution. This model decouples the synchronization from the computation portions of a program and allows them to execute asynchronously. At compile time a Multithreaded program is created with a Data-Driven thread synchronization graph superimposed on it.

DNOW is built using commodity control-flow microprocessors. The support for the data driven synchronization of threads, is provided by the Thread Synchronization Unit (TSU). The TSU is attached in the COAST (Cache On A STick) L2 Cache slot of Pentium workstations and thus it has an implicit interface, using snooping, to the Pentium microprocessor. Workstations are connected via a Telegraphos interconnection network, which is a high throughput ATM-like switch. Telegraphos uses short packets and guarantees no packet-drop, which is a must for fine grain data-driven computation. DNOW exhibits the tolerance to long memory and communication latencies, of the data-driven model, with very little overhead and also exploits short-term optimal cache placement and replacement policies. In our prototype implementation the TSU is implemented using FPGAs and it has very low hardware overhead.

Keywords: NOW, distributed shared memory, multithreading

Categories: B.3.2, C.1.2, C.1.3