Transactional Memory Patent Awarded
Arrvindh Shriraman (PhD '11) and Faculty members Sandhya Dwarkadas and Michael L. Scott have been awarded a patent for their research in Transactional Memory. From the patent award:
US patent #8,661,204, "Mechanism to Support Flexible Decoupled Transactional Memory," by Arrvindh Shriraman, Sandhya Dwarkadas, and Michael L. Scott, was awarded Feb. 25, 2014. This patent is based on work presented at the International Symposium on Computer Architecture (ISCA) in June, 2008, and described in more detail in the Oct. 2010 issue of the Journal of Parallel and Distributed Computing.
Transactional memory allows a core of a multiprocessor to execute a block of instructions (a "transaction") speculatively, as an indivisible unit from the perspective of all other cores. The patented mechanism makes visible the conflicts between transactions on different cores, so that software (rather than hardware) can choose which to commit and which to abort.