Why write zeros when one can use metadata?

By: Paul A. Clayton (paaronclayton.delete@this.gmail.com), August 18, 2018 6:19 pm
Room: Moderated Discussions
Maynard Handley (name99.delete@this.name99.org) on August 18, 2018 4:22 pm wrote:
[snip]
> Oops left out one more idea. Once you have a machinery to handle remote atomics AND you own
> the entire stack, you can do some crazy things. For example consider the problem of zeroing
> an entire page. Obviously doing this on the main CPU sucks, but doing it on a secondary thread
> (and thus the machinery of callbacks and waits) also sucks. But what about this?
> - you extend the cache protocol to include invalidate messages that describe not just a single line but an address
> plus a count of lines (say up to 256 or so, whatever is necessary to cover a page seems about right)
> - you offer an atomic remote zero (or remote fill) instruction that is given a line address
> plus count. The first thing it does is flush the line from all other caches, then it marks
> the set of lines locally as in some sort of intermediate state, then, fast as possible, it
> starts zeroing each line and, once zeroed, it goes back to a standard "valid" state.

All zero cache lines (and pages) compress extremely well. I think it
makes more sense to use metadata to indicate such compression (at page
granularity one could steal a state in PTEs, which further avoids excess
cost in metadata fetching) and avoid memory read entirely. The lines can
be zero filled around the first write.

There are many microarchitectural possibilities for improving performance or
energy efficiency, especially when one controls the system software (compiler,
standard libraries, OS). It is difficult for an outsider (especially one without
hardware design experience) to know what promising academic proposals are
rejected because they have weaknesses with some existing software or general
software practice (or otherwise have variable effectiveness, potentially
penalizing some workloads), because they are fundamentally flawed, because they
require significant design changes/commitments (or otherwise encounter friction
in established organizations), or for some other reasons.

Skewed associativity in a physically addressed L2 cache seems like a no-brainer
(the aliasing and latency from indexing complexity would seem not to be
significant; the area and power cost from multiple indexing for tags may be
an issue as might the inability to partially pre-index the data array speculating
on a hit), but skewed associativity is not generally used (possibly not even
for TLBs where aliasing is not an issue).
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TopicPosted ByDate
ARM turns to a god and a heroAM2018/08/16 09:32 AM
  ARM turns to a god and a heroMaynard Handley2018/08/16 09:41 AM
    ARM turns to a god and a heroDoug S2018/08/16 11:11 AM
    ARM turns to a god and a heroGeoff Langdale2018/08/16 11:59 PM
      ARM turns to a god and a herodmcq2018/08/17 05:12 AM
  ARM is somewhat misleadingAdrian2018/08/16 11:56 PM
    It's marketing materialGabriele Svelto2018/08/17 01:00 AM
      It's marketing materialMichael S2018/08/17 03:13 AM
        It's marketing materialdmcq2018/08/17 05:23 AM
          It's marketing materialAndrei Frumusanu2018/08/17 07:25 AM
        It's marketing materialLinus Torvalds2018/08/17 11:20 AM
          It's marketing materialGroo2018/08/17 01:44 PM
            It's marketing materialDoug S2018/08/17 02:14 PM
          promises and deliveriesAM2018/08/17 02:32 PM
            promises and deliveriesPassing Through2018/08/17 03:02 PM
              Just by way of clarification Passing Through2018/08/17 03:15 PM
                Just by way of clarification AM2018/08/18 12:49 PM
                  Just by way of clarification Passing Through2018/08/18 01:34 PM
                    This ain't the nineties any longerPassing Through2018/08/18 01:54 PM
                      This ain't the nineties any longerMaynard Handley2018/08/18 02:50 PM
                        This ain't the nineties any longerPassing Through2018/08/18 03:57 PM
                          This ain't the nineties any longerPassing Through2018/09/06 02:42 PM
                            This ain't the nineties any longerMaynard Handley2018/09/07 04:10 PM
                              This ain't the nineties any longerPassing Through2018/09/07 04:48 PM
                                This ain't the nineties any longerMaynard Handley2018/09/07 05:22 PM
                Just by way of clarification Wilco2018/08/18 01:26 PM
                  Just by way of clarification Passing Through2018/08/18 01:39 PM
                  Just by way of clarification none2018/08/18 10:52 PM
                    Just by way of clarification dmcq2018/08/19 08:32 AM
                      Just by way of clarification none2018/08/19 08:54 AM
                        Just by way of clarification dmcq2018/08/19 11:24 AM
                          Just by way of clarification none2018/08/19 11:52 AM
                  Just by way of clarification Gabriele Svelto2018/08/19 06:41 AM
                    Just by way of clarification Passing Through2018/08/19 09:25 AM
                      Whiteboards at Gatwick airport anyone? Passing Through2018/08/20 04:24 AM
          It's marketing materialMichael S2018/08/18 11:12 AM
          It's marketing materialBrett2018/08/18 05:22 PM
            It's marketing materialBrett2018/08/18 05:33 PM
              It's marketing materialAdrian2018/08/19 01:21 AM
        A76AM2018/08/17 02:45 PM
          A76Michael S2018/08/18 11:20 AM
            A76AM2018/08/18 12:39 PM
              A76Michael S2018/08/18 12:49 PM
                A76AM2018/08/18 01:06 PM
                  A76Doug S2018/08/18 01:43 PM
                    A76Maynard Handley2018/08/18 02:42 PM
                      A76Maynard Handley2018/08/18 04:22 PM
                        Why write zeros when one can use metadata?Paul A. Clayton2018/08/18 06:19 PM
                          Why write zeros when one can use metadata?Maynard Handley2018/08/19 11:12 AM
                            Dictionary compress might apply to memcopyPaul A. Clayton2018/08/19 01:45 PM
                        Instructions for zeroingKonrad Schwarz2018/08/30 06:37 AM
                          Instructions for zeroingMaynard Handley2018/08/30 08:41 AM
                          Instructions for zeroingAdrian2018/08/30 11:37 AM
                            dcbz -> dcbzl (was: Instructions for zeroing)hobold2018/08/31 01:50 AM
                              dcbz -> dcbzl (was: Instructions for zeroing)dmcq2018/09/01 05:28 AM
                      A76Travis2018/08/19 11:36 AM
                        A76Maynard Handley2018/08/19 12:22 PM
                          A76Travis2018/08/19 02:07 PM
                            A76Maynard Handley2018/08/19 06:24 PM
                        Remote atomicsmatthew2018/08/19 12:51 PM
                          Remote atomicsMichael S2018/08/19 01:58 PM
                            Remote atomicsmatthew2018/08/19 02:32 PM
                              Remote atomicsMichael S2018/08/19 02:36 PM
                                Remote atomicsmatthew2018/08/19 02:48 PM
                                  Remote atomicsMichael S2018/08/19 03:16 PM
                                    Remote atomicsRicardo B2018/08/20 10:05 AM
                            Remote atomicsdmcq2018/08/19 02:33 PM
                          Remote atomicsTravis2018/08/19 02:32 PM
                            Remote atomicsMichael S2018/08/19 02:46 PM
                              Remote atomicsTravis2018/08/19 05:35 PM
                                Remote atomicsMichael S2018/08/20 03:29 AM
                            Remote atomicsmatthew2018/08/19 07:58 PM
                              Remote atomicsanon2018/08/20 12:59 AM
                                Remote atomicsTravis2018/08/20 10:26 AM
                              Remote atomicsTravis2018/08/20 09:57 AM
                              Remote atomicsLinus Torvalds2018/08/20 04:29 PM
                                Fitting time slices to execution phasesPaul A. Clayton2018/08/21 09:09 AM
                                  Fitting time slices to execution phasesLinus Torvalds2018/08/21 02:34 PM
                                    Fitting time slices to execution phasesLinus Torvalds2018/08/21 03:31 PM
                                      Fitting time slices to execution phasesGabriele Svelto2018/08/21 03:54 PM
                                        Fitting time slices to execution phasesLinus Torvalds2018/08/21 04:26 PM
                                      Fitting time slices to execution phasesTravis2018/08/21 04:21 PM
                                        Fitting time slices to execution phasesLinus Torvalds2018/08/21 04:39 PM
                                          Fitting time slices to execution phasesTravis2018/08/21 04:59 PM
                                            Fitting time slices to execution phasesLinus Torvalds2018/08/21 05:13 PM
                                      Fitting time slices to execution phasesanon2018/08/21 04:27 PM
                                        Fitting time slices to execution phasesLinus Torvalds2018/08/21 06:02 PM
                                          Fitting time slices to execution phasesEtienne2018/08/22 02:28 AM
                                        Fitting time slices to execution phasesGabriele Svelto2018/08/22 03:07 PM
                                          Fitting time slices to execution phasesTravis2018/08/22 04:00 PM
                                          Fitting time slices to execution phasesanon2018/08/22 06:52 PM
                                    Fitting time slices to execution phasesTravis2018/08/21 04:37 PM
                                    Is preventing misuse that complex?Paul A. Clayton2018/08/23 05:42 AM
                                      Is preventing misuse that complex?Linus Torvalds2018/08/23 12:46 PM
                                        Is preventing misuse that complex?Travis2018/08/23 01:29 PM
                                          Is preventing misuse that complex?Travis2018/08/23 01:33 PM
                                            Is preventing misuse that complex?Jeff S.2018/08/24 07:57 AM
                                              Is preventing misuse that complex?Travis2018/08/24 08:47 AM
                                          Is preventing misuse that complex?Linus Torvalds2018/08/23 02:30 PM
                                            Is preventing misuse that complex?Travis2018/08/23 03:11 PM
                                              Is preventing misuse that complex?Linus Torvalds2018/08/24 01:00 PM
                                                Is preventing misuse that complex?Gabriele Svelto2018/08/24 01:25 PM
                                                  Is preventing misuse that complex?Linus Torvalds2018/08/24 01:33 PM
                                  Fitting time slices to execution phasesTravis2018/08/21 03:54 PM
                                rseq: holy grail rwlock?Travis2018/08/21 03:18 PM
                                  rseq: holy grail rwlock?Linus Torvalds2018/08/21 03:59 PM
                                    rseq: holy grail rwlock?Travis2018/08/21 04:27 PM
                                      rseq: holy grail rwlock?Linus Torvalds2018/08/21 05:10 PM
                                        rseq: holy grail rwlock?Travis2018/08/21 06:21 PM
                  ARM design housesMichael S2018/08/21 05:07 AM
                    ARM design housesWilco2018/08/22 12:38 PM
                      ARM design housesMichael S2018/08/22 02:21 PM
                        ARM design housesWilco2018/08/22 03:23 PM
                          ARM design housesMichael S2018/08/29 01:58 AM
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                A76Maynard Handley2018/08/18 02:07 PM
                  A76Michael S2018/08/18 02:32 PM
                    A76Maynard Handley2018/08/18 02:52 PM
                      A76Michael S2018/08/18 03:04 PM
    ARM is somewhat misleadingjuanrga2018/08/17 01:20 AM
    Surprised??Alberto2018/08/17 01:52 AM
      Surprised??Alberto2018/08/17 02:10 AM
      Surprised??none2018/08/17 02:46 AM
      Garbage talkAndrei Frumusanu2018/08/17 07:30 AM
        Garbage talkMichael S2018/08/17 07:43 AM
          Garbage talkAndrei Frumusanu2018/08/17 09:51 AM
            Garbage talkMichael S2018/08/18 11:29 AM
        Garbage talkAdrian2018/08/17 08:28 AM
          Garbage talkAlberto2018/08/17 09:20 AM
          Garbage talkAndrei Frumusanu2018/08/17 09:48 AM
            Garbage talkAdrian2018/08/17 10:17 AM
              Garbage talkAndrei Frumusanu2018/08/17 10:36 AM
                Garbage talkAdrian2018/08/17 02:53 PM
                  Garbage talkAndrei Frumusanu2018/08/18 12:17 AM
        More like a religion he?? ARM has an easy life :)Alberto2018/08/17 09:13 AM
          More like a religion he?? ARM has an easy life :)Andrei Frumusanu2018/08/17 09:34 AM
            More like a religion he?? ARM has an easy life :)Alberto2018/08/17 10:03 AM
              More like a religion he?? ARM has an easy life :)Andrei Frumusanu2018/08/17 10:43 AM
              More like a religion he?? ARM has an easy life :)Doug S2018/08/17 02:17 PM
              15W phone SoCsAM2018/08/17 03:04 PM
          More like a religion he?? ARM has an easy life :)Maynard Handley2018/08/17 12:29 PM
  my future stuff will be better than your old stuff, hey I'm a god at last (NT)Eric Bron2018/08/18 03:34 AM
    my future stuff will be better than your old stuff, hey I'm a god at lastnone2018/08/18 08:34 AM
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