L9: Memory Ordering

Memory Ordering

How to do LOAD and STORE in an out-of-order processor.

When does memory write happen?

For STORE it happens at commit. Has to be done at that point for the same reasons commit happens in program order.

Where does load get data? From a load-store queue. (This seems like ROB for memory insts)

Load-Store Queue (LSQ)

Structure like ROB for LOAD and STORE with 4 parameters

Load or Store Address Value (if any) Complete?

If a LOAD address matches a previous STORE address in the LSQ the value is copied from the STORE LSQ entry (Store-to-load forwarding)

If an inst doesn’t have an address there are options on how to handle further instructions:

Go anyway is usually used

Store to Load Forwarding

LOAD: Which earlier store do we get value from? STORE: Which later load do I give my value to?

When loads commit they only then store in the register. When store commits it only then writes to the data cache/memory.


All instructions get a ROB entry. LSQ acts as a RS for LOAD/STORE. So if there isn’t a ROB entry and a LSQ entry available the IQ stalls.


  1. Compute address
  2. Produce value (for STORE 1 and 2 can be done in either order)
  3. Write Result (LOAD)
  4. Commit (Free ROB and LSQ entries) a. STORE: write to memory