Online Thread and Data Mapping Using a Sharing-Aware Memory Management Unit

Eduardo H.M. Cruz, Matthias Diener, Laércio L. Pilla, Philippe O.A. Navaux

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Current and future architectures rely on thread-level parallelism to sustain performance growth. These architectures have introduced a complex memory hierarchy, consisting of several cores organized hierarchically with multiple cache levels and NUMA nodes. These memory hierarchies can have an impact on the performance and energy efficiency of parallel applications as the importance of memory access locality is increased. In order to improve locality, the analysis of the memory access behavior of parallel applications is critical for mapping threads and data. Nevertheless, most previous work relies on indirect information about the memory accesses, or does not combine thread and data mapping, resulting in less accurate mappings. In this paper, we propose the Sharing-Aware Memory Management Unit (SAMMU), an extension to the memory management unit that allows it to detect the memory access behavior in hardware. With this information, the operating system can perform online mapping without any previous knowledge about the behavior of the application. In the evaluation with a wide range of parallel applications (NAS Parallel Benchmarks and PARSEC Benchmark Suite), performance was improved by up to 35.7% (10.0% on average) and energy efficiency was improved by up to 11.9% (4.1% on average). These improvements happened due to a substantial reduction of cache misses and interconnection traffic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number16
JournalACM Transactions on Modeling and Performance Evaluation of Computing Systems
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • cache memory
  • communication
  • data mapping
  • data sharing
  • memory management unit
  • NUMA
  • shared memory
  • Thread mapping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Information Systems
  • Software
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Media Technology


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