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3.2. Processor Abstractions

The kernel dispatcher primarily manages two types of objects: threads and processors. Threads were discussed in the previous chapter. Before we probe the internals of the dispatcher, we need a clear view of how hardware processors (CPUs) are abstracted and a definition of what specific groupings of processors are maintained in the kernel.

Previous releases of Solaris defined a cpu structure (cpu_t), and a one-to-one mapping existed between physical processors and instantiated cpu_t structures in the kernel. The cpu_t maintains information required by the dispatcher and kernel-at-large for thread scheduling, interrupt handling, CPU state transitions, utilization and accounting, processor groupings, and administrative controls (psradm(1M)). Processor resource control facilities—processor sets and resource pools—are implemented through abstractions in the kernel that define groups of processors. Multicore processor technology and multiprocessor system designs introduced architectural considerations that require visibility by the kernel; thus, some new abstractions were needed for the kernel to take full advantage of new processors and systems.


  

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