As parallel programming becomes the mainstream due to multicore processors, dynamic memory management routines (malloc/free) used in C and C++ can suppress the performance of multi-threaded applications if they are not scalable.
SFMalloc (Synchronization-Free Malloc) is a new dynamic memory allocator for multi-threaded applications. SFMalloc never uses any synchronization for common cases. It uses only lock-free synchronization mechanisms for uncommon cases.
SFMalloc provides each thread with a private heap and each thread handles memory requests on the heap. SFMalloc is completely synchronization-free when a thread allocates a memory block and deallocates it by itself. Synchronization-free means that threads do not communicate with each other at all. On the other hand, if a thread allocates a block and another thread frees it, we use a lock-free stack to atomically add it to the owner thread's heap to avoid the memory blowup problem. SFMalloc also exploits various memory block caching mechanisms to reduce the latency of memory management. Freed blocks or intermediate memory chunks are cached hierarchically in each thread's heap and they are used for future memory allocation.
SFMalloc supports x86-64 CPUs. It builds on 64-bit flavors of Linux.
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Sangmin Seo, Junghyun Kim, and Jaejin Lee
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