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Parallel architectures with shared memory are well suited to many applications, provided that efficient shared memory access and process synchronization mechanisms are available. When the parallel machine is a cluster with physically distributed memory, software based synchronization mechanisms together with virtual memory infrastructure can implement Software Distributed Shared Memory (S-DSM), a shared memory abstraction on a distributed memory machine. However, the communication network overload from the emulation can limit the performance of such systems. This problem motivated the research, in which the authors developed a set of synchronization primitives for S-DSM on reconfigurable hardware. This hardware implements an auxiliary synchronization network, which works in parallel to the data communication network.
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