Synchronization and Communication in the T3E Multiprocessor

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Synchronization and Communication in the T3E Multiprocessor
This paper describes the synchronization and communication primitives of the Cray T3E multiprocessor, a shared memory system scalable to 2048 processors. We discuss what we have learned from the T3D project (the predecessor to the T3E) and the rationale behind changes made for the T3E. We include performance measurements for various aspects of communication and synchronization. The T3E augments the memory interface of the DEC 21164 microprocessor with a large set of explicitly-managed, external registers (E-registers). E-registers are used as the source or target for all remote communication. They provide a highly pipelined interface to global memory that allows dozens of requests per processor to be outstanding. Through E-registers, the T3E provides a rich set of atomic memory operations and a flexible, user-level messaging facility. The T3E also provides a set of virtual hardware barrier/ eureka networks that can be arbitrarily embedded into the 3D torus interconnect.
Steven L. Scott
Added 08 Aug 2010
Updated 08 Aug 2010
Type Conference
Year 1996
Authors Steven L. Scott
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