Previous | Next --- Slide 19 of 34
Back to Lecture Thumbnails

Are there any performance implications if the original requestor does not signal readiness to receive the response? Will the data still be sent immediately?


I don't think the data will still be sent if the requestor does not signal readiness. The diagram seems to indicate that there is a certain time frame for receiving the signal for readiness. I would assume that if the time frame passes without any response, there would be some mechanism to cause the request to be retried. I couldn't find any information on it though.


Why would it be necessary for the original requestor to signal readiness to receive the response? Couldn't the data just be sent and then once the data is on the other side of the bus, the requestor can be signalled that the data has arrived? Also, in most cases the requestor is probably just waiting around for the data it needs which is another reason it seems unnecessary for the requestor to signal readiness.


@asinha I think that sending the data on the bus might need to happen over multiple cycles, as is the case here. If the original requester is busy (for whatever reason) and doesn't grab the data from the bus on each cycle, it'll basically not get the data it needed.

As to why it would be busy with something else, I'm not entirely sure. It's definitely not because it's receiving memory for a different request, since there is only one response bus. Maybe someone else can comment?


@asinha I think what also might happen is that if the original requestor is not ready for the data, the response will get sent over the bus and then sit while the requestor finishes whatever it is doing. Meanwhile, nothing else can be sent over the bus or else the response will be lost (I suppose something else could be sent over the bus, but then the response would have to be sent again later). Perhaps one reason the original requestor might be busy with something else is that it has switched contexts while it waits for the memory request to finish, such as in a multitasking system on a CPU.


As we see on the next slide, sending data requires several clocks of usage of the data bus. Soif we just send immediately without a response, then we just wasted a bunch of cycles on the data bus.


If the requestor is not ready, the data cannot be sent. (Otherwise the requestor will miss the data!) The responder essentially receives a NACK on the response. The responder will have to try and send its response later, and hopefully the requestor will then be ready.