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The Architecture and Programming of a Fine-Grain Multicomputer

Seizovic, Jakov N. (1993) The Architecture and Programming of a Fine-Grain Multicomputer. Computer Science Technical Reports, California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA. (Unpublished)

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The research presented in this thesis was conducted in the context of the Mosaic C, an experimental, fine-grain multicomputer. The objective of the Mosaic experiment was to develop a concurrent-computing system with maximum performance per unit cost, while still retaining a general-purpose application span. A stipulation of the Mosaic project was that the complexity of a Mosaic node be limited by the silicon complexity available on a single VLSI chip. The two most important original results reported in the thesis are: (1) The design and implementation of C+-, a concurrent, object-oriented programming system. Syntactically, C+- is an extension of C++. The concurrent semantics of C+- are contained within the process concept. A C+- process is analogous to a C++ object, but it is also an autonomous computing agent, and a unit of potential concurrency. Atomic single-process updates that can be individually enabled and disabled are the execution units of the concurrent computation. The limited set of primitives that C+- provides is shown to be sufficient to express a variety of concurrent-programming problems concisely and efficiently. An important design requirement for C+- was that efficient implementations should exist on a variety of concurrent architectures, and, in particular, on the simple and inexpensive hardware of the Mosaic node. The Mosaic runtime system was written entirely in C+-. (2) Pipeline synchronization, a novel, generally- applicable technique for hardware synchronization. This technique is a simple, low-cost, high-bandwidth, high- reliability solution to interfaces between synchronous and asynchronous systems, or between synchronous systems operating from different clocks. The technique can sustain the full communication bandwidth and achieve an arbitrarily low, non-zero probability of synchronization failure, Pf, with the price in both latency and chip area being O(log 1/Pf). Pipeline synchronization has been successfully applied to the highperformance inter-computer communication in Mosaic node ensembles.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Technical Report)
Group:Computer Science Technical Reports
Series Name:Computer Science Technical Reports
Record Number:CaltechCSTR:1993.cs-tr-93-18
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ID Code:26865
Deposited By: Imported from CaltechCSTR
Deposited On:14 May 2001
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 03:18

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