European Research Consortium Turns Focus on Transactional Memory

ACM TechNews

The VELOX project is a three-year European-led research effort to develop seamless transactional memory (TM) systems for multi-core computers that integrate well at all levels of the system stack. The project is backed by the VELOX consortium, coordinated by the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, that unites nine research and systems integration organizations. As multi-core chips become more popular, eventually becoming the architecture of choice for mainstream computing, they will require programs to be rewritten in parallel for computers that have multiple processing cores. One of the fundamental issues in developing parallel programs is finding a coordinated and orderly way of accessing shared data. The TM programming paradigm has a strong chance to become the approach of choice for handling multi-core data. Combining sequences of concurrent operations into atomic transactions could lead to a significant reduction in the complexity of programming and verification, making parts of the code appear to be sequential without needing to program fine-grained locks. The VELOX project will develop an integrated TM stack that can span a system from the underlying hardware to the high-end applications.

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