A Deep Dive into Transactional Memory

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David Kanter from Real World Technologies takes a detailed look at Transactional Memory coming with Intel’s future Haswell processors and he likes what he sees.

Transactional memory is a natural and obvious fit for future many-core products. Intel’s RTM is undeniably an easier programming model than many alternatives and can augment existing languages like C++ through libraries and extensions. Moreover, the potential to significantly improve scalability is incredibly attractive for a design with dozens of cores and hundreds of threads. For example, a presentation from Doug Carmean emphasized the challenge in handling contended locks in the early versions of Larrabee. TSX can potentially remove lock contention as an issue for the majority of programs, except where a true dependency exists and serialization is required for correctness. Overall, it would be surprising if the successor to Knight’s Corner did not support some version of TSX.

Read the Full Story. In a related story, Greg Pfister has also posted an interesting writeup on TM as well.