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Method and apparatus for dispatching tasks in a non-uniform memory access (NUMA) computer system

Image Number 10 for United States Patent #8122451.

A dispatcher for a non-uniform memory access computer system dispatches threads from a common ready queue not associated with any CPU, but favors the dispatching of a thread to a CPU having a shorter memory access time. Preferably, the system comprises multiple discrete nodes, each having a local memory and one or more CPUs. System main memory is a distributed memory comprising the union of the local memories. A respective preferred CPU and preferred node may be associated with each thread. When a CPU becomes available, the dispatcher gives at least some relative priority to a thread having a preferred CPU in the same node as the available CPU over a thread having a preferred CPU in a different node. This preference is relative, and does not prevent the dispatch from overriding the preference to avoid starvation or other problems.

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