Report Number: CSL-TR-93-596
Institution: Stanford University, Computer Systems Laboratory
Title: Models of Communication Latency in Shared Memory Multiprocessors
Author: Byrd, Gregory T.
Date: December 1993
Abstract: We evaluate various mechanisms for data communication in large-scale shared memory multiprocessors. Data communication involves both data transmission and synchronization, resulting in the transfer of data between computational threads. We use simple analytical models to evaluate the communication latency for each of the mechanisms. The models show that efficient and opportunistic synchronization is the most important determinant of latency, followed by efficient transmission. Producer-initiated mechanisms, in which data is sent by its producer as it is produced, generally achieve lower latencies than consumer-initated mechanisms, in which data is retrieved as and when it is needed.