Delegated persist ordering

Aasheesh Kolli, Jeff Rosen, Stephan Diestelhorst, Ali Saidi, Steven Pelley, Sihang Liu, Peter M. Chen, Thomas F. Wenisch

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

91 Scopus citations


Systems featuring a load-store interface to persistent memory (PM) are expected soon, making in-memory persistent data structures feasible. Ensuring persistent data structure recoverability requires constraints on the order PM writes become persistent. But, current memory systems reorder writes, providing no such guarantees. To complement their upcoming 3D XPoint memory, Intel has announced new instructions to enable programmer control of data persistence. We describe the semantics implied by these instructions, an ordering model we call synchronous ordering. Synchronous ordering (SO) enforces order by stalling execution when PM write ordering is required, exposing PM write latency on the execution critical path. It incurs an average slowdown of 7.21x over volatile execution without ordering in PM-write-intensive benchmarks. SO tightly couples enforcing order and flushing writes to PM, but this tight coupling is unneeded in many recoverable software systems. Instead, we propose delegated ordering, wherein ordering requirements are communicated explicitly to the PM controller, fully decoupling PM write ordering from volatile execution and cache management. We demonstrate that delegated ordering can bring performance within 1.93x of volatile execution, improving over SO by 3.73x.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMICRO 2016 - 49th Annual IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Microarchitecture
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
ISBN (Electronic)9781509035083
StatePublished - Dec 14 2016
Event49th Annual IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Microarchitecture, MICRO 2016 - Taipei, Taiwan, Province of China
Duration: Oct 15 2016Oct 19 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual International Symposium on Microarchitecture, MICRO
ISSN (Print)1072-4451


Other49th Annual IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Microarchitecture, MICRO 2016
Country/TerritoryTaiwan, Province of China

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hardware and Architecture


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