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Abstract: “Emerging Persistent Memory technologies (also PM, Non-Volatile DIMMs, Storage Class Memory or SCM) hold tremendous promise for accelerating popular data-management applications like in-memory databases. However, programmers now need to deal with ensuring the atomicity of transactions on Persistent Memory resident data and maintaining consistency between the order in which processors perform stores and that in which the updated values become durable.

The problem is specially challenging when high-performance isolation mechanisms like Hardware Transactional Memory (HTM) are used for concurrency control. This work shows how HTM transactions can be ordered correctly and atomically into PM by the use of a novel software protocol combined with a Persistent Memory Controller, without requiring changes to processor cache hardware or HTM protocols. In contrast, previous approaches require significant changes to existing processor microarchitectures. Our approach, evaluated using both micro-benchmarks and the STAMP suite compares well with standard (volatile) HTM transactions. It also yields significant gains in throughput and latency in comparison with persistent transactional locking.”

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