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Conference Papers Year : 2015

Dynamic Detection and Mitigation of DMA Races in MPSoCs


—Explicitly managed memories have emerged as a good alternative for multicore processors design in order to reduce energy and performance costs. Memory transfers then rely on Direct Memory Access (DMA) engines which provide a hardware support for accelerating data. However, programming explicit data transfers is very challenging for developers who must manually orchestrate data movements through the memory hierarchy. This is in practice very error-prone and can easily lead to memory inconsistency. In this paper, we propose a runtime approach for monitoring DMA races. The monitor acts as a safeguard for programmers and is able to enforce at runtime a correct behavior w.r.t the semantics of the program execution. We validate the approach using traces extracted from industrial benchmarks and executed on the multiprocessor system-on-chip platform STHORM. Our experiments demonstrate that the monitoring algorithm has a low overhead (less than 1.5 KB) of on-chip memory consumption and an overhead of less than 2% of additional execution time. I. INTRODUCTION In recent Multiprocessor Systems-on-Chip (MPSoCs) design , a combination of Scratchpad Memories (SPM) [1] and Direct Memory Access (DMA) engines have been proposed as an alternative to traditional caches, where data (and sometimes code) transfers through the memory hierarchy are explicitly managed by the software. This is promising in terms of performance, energy, and silicon area. However the price to pay is clearly programming complexity, since the program-mer/software has a disjoint view of the different levels of memories and must manually orchestrate data movements using explicit DMA operations. In this context, DMA races emerge as one of the regular issues programmers have to face.
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hal-01248352 , version 1 (25-12-2015)



Selma Saidi, Yliès Falcone. Dynamic Detection and Mitigation of DMA Races in MPSoCs. 18th Euromicro Conference on Digital Systems Design (DSD 2015), Aug 2015, Madeire, Portugal. ⟨10.1109/DSD.2015.77⟩. ⟨hal-01248352⟩
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