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Implementation and Verification of a Cache Coherence protocol using Spin Steven Farago.

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Presentation on theme: "Implementation and Verification of a Cache Coherence protocol using Spin Steven Farago."— Presentation transcript:

1 Implementation and Verification of a Cache Coherence protocol using Spin Steven Farago

2 Goal To use Spin to design a plausible cache coherence protocol –Introduce nothing in the Spin model that would not be realistic in hardware (e.g. instant global knowledge between unrelated state machines) To verify the correctness of the protocol

3 Background Definition: Cache = Small, high-speed memory that is used by a single processor. All processor memory accesses are via the cache. Problem: –In a multiprocessor system, each processor could have a cache. –Each cache could contain (potentially different) data for the same addresses. –Given this, how to ensure that processors see a consistent picture of memory?

4 Coherence protocol A Coherence protocol specifies how caches communicate with processors and each other so that processors will have a predictable view of memory. Caches that always provide this predictable view of memory are said to be coherent.

5 A Definition of Coherence A view of memory is coherent if the following property holds: –Given cacheline A, two processors may not see storage accesses to A in a conflicting order. –Example: –Processor 0 Processor 1 Processor 2 Processor 3 Store A, 0 Load A, 0 Load A, 0 Load A, 1 Store A, 1 Load A, 1 Load A, 0 Load A, 0 Coherent Coherent ** NOT Coherent Informally, a processor may not see old data after seeing new data.

6 Standard Coherence Protocol MESI (Modified, Exclusive, Shared, Invalid) –Standard protocol that is supposed to guarantee cache coherence Each block in the cacheline is marked with one of these states. Cacheline accesses are only allowed if the cache states are correct w.r.t the coherence protocol Examples: –A cache that is marked invalid may not provide data to a processor. –Cacheline data may not be updated unless the line is in the Exclusive or Modified

7 System Model Initial version Three state machines –ProcessorModel: Non-deterministically issues Loads and Stores to cache forever –CacheModel: Two parts - initially combined into a single process MainCache - Services processor requests. Snooper - Responds to messages from memory controller –MemoryController - Services requests from each cache and maintains coherency among all

8 MemoryController Processor MainCache Snooper Processor MainCache Snooper System Model

9 ProcessorModel Simple Continually issues Load/Store requests to associated Cache. –Communication done via Bus Model. –Read requests are blocking Coherence verification done when Load receives data (via Spin assert statement)

10 CacheModel Two parts: MainCache and Snooper –MainCache services ProcessorModel Load and Store requests and initiates contact with the MemoryController when an invalid cache state is encountered –Snooper services independent request from MemoryController. Requests necessary for MemoryController to coordinate coherence responses.

11 MemoryControllerModel Responsible for servicing Cache requests 3 Types of requests –Data request: Cache requires up-to-date data to supply to processor –Permission-to-store: A Cache may not transition to the Modified state w/o MCs permission –A combination of these two All types of requests may require MC to communicate with all system caches (via Snooper processes) to ensure coherence

12 Implementation of Busses All processes represent independent state machines. Need communication mechanism Use Spin depth 1 queues to simulate communication. Destructive/Blocking read of queues requires global bool to indicate bus activity (required for polling). –Global between processes valid to make up for differences between Spin queues and real busses

13 Problems - Part 1 MainCache and Snooper initially implemented as a single process. Process nondeterministically determines which to execute at each iteration Communication between Processor/Cache and Cache/Memory done with blocking queues Blocked receive in MainCache --> Snooper cannot execute Leads to deadlock in certain situations

14 Solution 1 Split MainCache and Snooper into separate processes. Both can access global cacheData and cacheState variables independently

15 --> Problems - Part2 As separate processes, Snooper and MainCache could change cache state unpredictably. Race conditions: Snooper changes cache state/data while MainCache is in mid- transaction --> returns invalidated data to processor.

16 Solution 2 Add locking mechanism to cache. –MainCache or Snooper may only access cache if they first lock it. Locking mechanism: For simplicity, cheated by using Spins atomic keyword to implement test-set on a shared variable. Assumption: Real hardware would have some similar mechanism available to lock caches. Question: Revised model now equivalent to original??

17 --> Problem 3 Memory controller allows multiple outstanding requests from caches. Snooper of cache which has a MainCache request outstanding cannot respond to MC queries for other outstanding requests (due to locked cacheline). Deadlock.

18 Solution 3 Disallow multiple outstanding Cache/MC transactions. Introduce global bool variable shared across all caches: outstandingBusOp. A cache may only issue requests to the memory controller if no requests from other caches outstanding. Global knowledge across all caches unrealistic. Equivalent to retries from MC??

19 --> Problem 4 Previous problems failed in Spin simulation within 1000 steps. Given last solution, random simulation failures vanish in first 3000 steps. Verification fails after ~20000 steps Cause of problem as yet unresolved

20 Verification How to verify coherence generally?? Verify something stronger: A processor will never see conflicting ordering of data if it always sees the newest data available in the system. For all loads, assert that data is new

21 Modeling of Data Concern that modeling data as random integer would cause Spin to run out of memory Model data as a bit with values OLD and NEW. All processor Stores store NEW data. When transitioning to a Modified state, a cache will change all other values of data in memory and other caches to OLD –Global access to data here strictly a part of verification effort, not algorithm. Thus allowed.

22 Debugging Found debugging parallel processes difficult. Made much easier by Spins message sequence diagrams –Graphically shows sends and receives of all messages. –Requires use of Spin queues rather than globals for interprocess communication

23 Future work Make existing protocol completely bug free Activate additional features disabled for debugging purposes (e.g. bus transaction types) Verify protocol specific rules –No two caches may be simultaneously Modified –Cache Modified or Exclusive --> no other cache is Shared

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