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Across many architectures and parallel programming paradigms, collective communication plays a key role in performance and correctness. Hardware support is necessary to prevent important collective communication from becoming a system bottleneck. Support for multicast communication in Networks-on-Chip (NoCs) has achieved substantial throughput improvements and power savings. In this paper, the authors explore support for reduction or many-to-one communication operations. As a case study, they focus on ACKnowledgement messages (ACK) that must be collected in a directory protocol before a cache line may be upgraded to or installed in the modified state. This paper makes two primary contributions: an efficient framework to support the reduction of ACK packets and a novel Balanced, Adaptive Multicast (BAM) routing algorithm.
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