BulkSC: Bulk enforcement of sequential consistency

Luis Ceze, James Tuck, Pablo Montesinos, Josep Torrellas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


While Sequential Consistency (SC) is the most intuitive memory consistency model and the one most programmers likely assume, current multiprocessors do not support it. Instead, they support more relaxed models that deliver high performance. SC implementations are considered either too slow or - when they can match the performance of relaxed models - too difficult to implement. In this paper, we propose Bulk Enforcement of SC (BulkSC), anovel way of providing SC that is simple to implement and offers performance comparable to Release Consistency (RC). The idea is to dynamically group sets of consecutive instructions into chunks that appear to execute atomically and in isolation. The hardware enforces SC at the coarse grain of chunks which, to the program, appears as providing SC at the individual memory access level. BulkSC keeps the implementation simple by largely decoupling memory consistency enforcement from processor structures. Moreover, it delivers high performance by enabling full memory access reordering and overlapping within chunks and across chunks. We describe a complete system architecture that supports BulkSC and show that it delivers performance comparable to RC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationISCA'07
Subtitle of host publication34th Annual International Symposium on Computer Architecture, Conference Proceedings
Number of pages12
StatePublished - 2007
EventISCA'07: 34th Annual International Symposium on Computer Architecture - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Jun 9 2007Jun 13 2007

Publication series

NameProceedings - International Symposium on Computer Architecture
ISSN (Print)1063-6897


OtherISCA'07: 34th Annual International Symposium on Computer Architecture
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Bulk
  • Chip multiprocessors
  • Memory consistency models
  • Programmability
  • Sequential consistency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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