A framework for memory contention analysis in multi-core platforms
Ref: CISTER-TR-150510 Publication Date: May 2016
A framework for memory contention analysis in multi-core platformsRef: CISTER-TR-150510 Publication Date: May 2016
The last decade has witnessed a major shift towards the deployment of embedded applications on multicore platforms. However, real-time applications have not been able to fully benefit from this transition, as the computational gains offered by multi-cores are often offset by performance degradation due to shared resources, such as main memory. To efficiently use multi-core platforms for real-time systems, it is hence essential to tightly bound the interference when accessing shared resources. Although there has been much recent work in this area, a remaining key problem is to address the diversity of memory arbiters in the analysis to make it applicable to a wide range of systems. This work addresses this diversity problem by proposing a general framework to compute the maximum interference caused by the shared memory bus and its impact on the execution time of the tasks running on the cores, considering different bus arbiters.
Our novel approach clearly demarcates the arbiter-dependent and independent stages in the analysis of these upper bounds. The arbiter-dependent phase takes the arbiter and the task memory-traffic pattern as inputs and produces a model of the availability of the bus to a given task. Then, based on the availability of the bus, the arbiter-independent phase determines the worst-case request-release scenario that maximizes the interference experienced of the tasks due to the contention for the bus. We show that the framework addresses the diversity problem by applying it to a memory bus shared by a fixed-priority arbiter, a time division multiplexing (TDM) arbiter, and an unspecified work-conserving arbiter using applications from the MediaBench test suite. We also experimentally evaluate the quality of the analysis by comparison with a state-of-the-art TDM analysis approach and consistently showing a considerable reduction in maximum interference.
Published in Real-Time Systems (RTS), Springer, Volume 52, Issue 3, pp 272-322.