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Intel Corp. said that its next-generation multi-core processor code-named Haswell will support Transactional Synchronization Extensions (TSX). These new synchronization extensions are useful in shared-memory multithreaded applications that employ lock-based synchronization mechanisms. Thanks to TSX, specially written applications will run faster on multi-core/multi-threaded chips.

Intel TSX provides a set of instruction set extensions that allow programmers to specify regions of code for transactional synchronization. Programmers can use these extensions to achieve the performance of fine-grain locking while actually programming using coarse-grain locks. With transactional synchronization, the hardware can determine dynamically whether threads need to serialize through lock-protected critical sections, and perform serialization only when required. This lets the processor expose and exploit concurrency that would otherwise be hidden due to dynamically unnecessary synchronization.

At the lowest level with Intel TSX, programmer-specified code regions (also referred to as transactional regions) are executed transactionally. If the transactional execution completes successfully, then all memory operations performed within the transactional region will appear to have occurred instantaneously when viewed from other logical processors. A processor makes architectural updates performed within the region visible to other logical processors only on a successful commit, a process referred to as an atomic commit.

These extensions can help achieve the performance of fine-grain locking while using coarser grain locks. These extensions can also allow locks around critical sections while avoiding unnecessary serializations. If multiple threads execute critical sections protected by the same lock but they do not perform any conflicting operations on each other’s data, then the threads can execute concurrently and without serialization. Even though the software uses lock acquisition operations on a common lock, the hardware is allowed to recognize this, elide the lock, and execute the critical sections on the two threads without requiring any communication through the lock if such communication was dynamically unnecessary.

While Intel TSX may enable efficient implementations of new programming models, it does not require a new programming model and does not propose a new programming model. Intel TSX provides hardware-supported transactional-execution extensions to ease the development and improve the performance of existing programming models.

Intel TSX targets a certain class of shared-memory multi-threaded applications; specifically multi-threaded applications that actively share data. Intel TSX is about allowing programs to achieve fine-grain lock performance without requiring the complexity of reasoning about fine-grain locking.

Tags: Intel, Haswell, 22nm, TSX


Comments currently: 19
Discussion started: 02/09/12 02:04:58 PM
Latest comment: 02/13/12 08:57:48 AM
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I'm still going to buy IB and not holdout for Haswell.
2 0 [Posted by: AnonymousGuy  | Date: 02/09/12 10:35:11 PM]
- collapse thread

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2 6 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 02/10/12 07:13:41 AM]

Competition or no competition Intel keeps going right along...
3 0 [Posted by: SteelCity1981  | Date: 02/10/12 09:57:55 AM]
- collapse thread

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0 10 [Posted by: beenthere  | Date: 02/10/12 02:05:31 PM]
Because they don't have to in that segment. They could slow up if they wanted to and no one is close to catching them now that's why.
3 2 [Posted by: SteelCity1981  | Date: 02/11/12 09:44:59 PM]

Haha! Even more instructions! I wonder how much time before x86 becomes so complex that nobody would be able to handle it?
The funniest thing is that in nature much more powerful computers are based on much simpler principles, which enable astounding parallelism, unimaginable fault tolerance and reliability, unmatched cognitive abilities. :D
Oh, well in 1 billion years Intel might actually do it!
0 1 [Posted by: Zingam  | Date: 02/11/12 01:18:11 AM]

Maybe you should check this approach: link:
0 2 [Posted by: mosu  | Date: 02/11/12 04:11:19 AM]
- collapse thread

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1 9 [Posted by: beenthere  | Date: 02/11/12 09:46:39 AM]
show the post
2 6 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 02/11/12 12:47:28 PM]
show the post
0 9 [Posted by: beenthere  | Date: 02/11/12 01:58:37 PM]
show the post
3 6 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 02/11/12 07:58:22 PM]
you are preaching to a self-centered, self-proclaimed-know-it-all, who is the best known amd kiss-@$$ bloke on the face of online forums worldwide! regardless of whatever source of info you post, he won't and can't get it thru his thick hollow skull!
2 1 [Posted by: dudde  | Date: 02/13/12 08:57:47 AM]

In this age, Intel has to compete with its discontinued capable CPU backlog and ARM to survive. Something AMD fanboys can't understand with their No AMD = Intel monopoly bullshit. How about AMD release something competitive that people actually want if they don't want that to happen?
3 0 [Posted by: Randomguy  | Date: 02/12/12 03:08:17 AM]


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