Efficient dynamic heap allocation of scratch-pad memory

October 21, 2012

Bernard Cole-October 21, 2012

In “Efficient Dynamic Heap Allocation of Scratch-Pad Memory,” Peter Dickman of Google Inc. with Ross McIlroy and Joe Sventek in the Department of Computing Science at the University of Glasgow, describe the Scratch-Pad Memory Allocator, a lightweight memory management algorithm, specifically designed to manage small on-chip memories.

This algorithm uses a variety of techniques to reduce its memory footprint while still remaining effective,including: representing memory both as fixed-sized blocks and variable-sized regions within these blocks; coding of memory state in bitmap structures; and exploiting the layout of adjacent regions to dispense with boundary tags for split and coalesce operations. This algorithm manages small memories efficiently and scales well under load when multiple competing cores access shared memory.

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