About

Michael Zucchi

 B.E. (Comp. Sys. Eng.)

  also known as zed
  & handle of notzed

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Saturday, 31 May 2014, 14:37

minimal memory allocator n stuff

Over the last couple of days i've been hacking on the ezesdk code - original aim was to get a graphical Java app up which uses epiphany compute. But as i'm just about there i'm done for a bit.

Along the way I realised I pretty much needed a memory allocator for the shared memory block because I can't use static allocations or fixed addresses from Java. So I implemented a very minimal memory allocator for this purpose. It's small it enough it could potentially be used on-core for on-core memory allocations but i'm not look at using it there at this point.

It uses first-fit which I surprisingly found (some profiling a few years ago) was one of the better algorithms in terms of utilisation when memory is tight. The lowest level part of the allocator requires no overheads for memory allocations apart from those required for maintaining alignment. So for example 2 32xbyte allocations will consume 64-byte of memory exactly. Since this isn't enough to store the size of the allocation it must be passed in to the free function. I have a higher level malloc like entry point also which has an 8-byte overhead for each allocation and saves the size for the free call.

The only real drawback is that it isn't really very fast - it does a memory-order scan for both allocations and de-allocations. But as it is basically the algorithm AmigaOS used for years for it's system allocator it has been proven to work well enough.

So once I had that working I moved all the loader code to use it and implemented some higher level primitives which make communicating with cores a bit easier from host code.

I just ran some trivial tests with the JNI code and I have enough working to load some code and communicate with it - but i'll come up with that graphical demo another day. A rather crappy cold/wet weekend though so it might be sooner rather than later.

Tagged hacking, java, parallella.
that 'graphical' demo | parallella ezesdk 0.1
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