Intel® Transactional Synchronization Extensions (Intel® TSX) provides hardware transactional memory support. It exposes a speculative execution mode to the programmer to improve locking performance. There are many publications about Intel TSX and this article is not focused on explaining the concept. You can refer to the most comprehensive list of TSX-related technical resources in the Roman Dementiev blog.
Coarse-grained locks, and the importance of transactions, are key concepts that motivate why Intel Transactional Synchronization Extensions (TSX) is useful. I’ll do my best to explain them in this blog.
In my blog "Transactional Synchronization in Haswell," I describe new instructions (Intel TSX) that will improve the performance of coarse-grained locks. Understanding coarse-grained locks and the concept of transactions are both key to understanding why Intel TSX matters.
We have released details of Intel® Transactional Synchronization Extensions (TSX) for the future multicore processor code-named “Haswell”. The updated specification (Intel® Architecture Instruction Set Extensions Programming Reference) can be downloaded.