Cache Coherency for Symmetric Multiprocessor Systems on Programmable Chips
Rapid progress in the area of Field-Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) has led to the availability of softcore processors that are simple to use, and can enable the development of a fully working system in minutes. This has lead to the enormous popularity of System-On-Programmable-Chip (SOPC) computing platforms. These softcore processors, while relatively simple compared to their leading-edge hardcore counterparts, are often designed with a number of advanced performance-enhancing features, such as instruction and data caches. Moreover, they are designed to be used in a uniprocessor or uncoupled multiprocessor architecture, and not in a tightly-coupled multiprocessing architecture. As a result, traditional cache-coherency protocols are not suitable for use with such systems. This thesis describes a system for enforcing cache coherency on symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) systems using softcore processors. A hybrid protocol that incorporates hardware and software to enforce cache coherency is presented.