Hoard memory allocator

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Original author(s) Emery Berger
Kathryn S. McKinley
Robert D. Blumofe
Paul R. Willson
Developer(s) Emery Berger
Initial release September 29, 1999 (1999-09-29)
Stable release 3.10 / October 23, 2013; 17 months ago (2013-10-23)
Development status Active
Operating system Unix-like, Microsoft Windows and others
Platform Cross-platform
Available in C++
Type Memory allocation
License GPL v2 and another one for proprietary software
Website www.hoard.org

The Hoard memory allocator, or Hoard, is a memory allocator for Linux, Solaris, Microsoft Windows and other operating systems. Hoard is designed to be efficient when used by multithreaded applications on multiprocessor computers. Hoard is distributed under the GPL, but can be purchased for proprietary software.


In 2000, its author Emery Berger benchmarked some famous memory allocators and stated Hoard improves the performance of multithreaded applications by providing fast, scalable memory management functions (malloc and free). In particular, it reduces contention for the heap (the central data structure used in dynamic memory allocation) caused when multiple threads allocate or free memory, and avoids the false sharing that can be introduced by memory allocators. At the same time, Hoard has strict bounds on fragmentation.[1]

In 2004, Maged Michael implemented a new memory allocator and benchmarked it with Hoard and some other famous memory allocators. He stated its new memory allocator is more efficient than Hoard.[2] Then Maged Michael contributed to improve Hoard's quality.[3]

Hoard continues to be maintained and improved, and is in use by a number of open source and commercial projects.[4][5]

It has also inspired changes to other memory allocators such as the one in OS X since February 2008 (first released in Mac OS X Snow Leopard).[6][7]


  1. ^ Berger, E. D.; McKinley, K. S.; Blumofe, R. D.; Wilson, P. R. (November 2000). Hoard: A Scalable Memory Allocator for Multithreaded Applications (PDF). ASPLOS-IX. Proceedings of the ninth international conference on Architectural support for programming languages and operating systems: 117–128. doi:10.1145/378993.379232. ISBN 1-58113-317-0. CiteSeerX:  edit
  2. ^ Michael, M. M. (June 2004). Scalable Lock-Free Dynamic Memory Allocation (PDF). PLDI '04. Proceedings of the ACM SIGPLAN 2004 conference on Programming language design and implementation: 35–46. doi:10.1145/996841.996848. ISBN 1-58113-807-5.  edit
  3. ^ See THANKS file in source code
  4. ^ "An alternative Memory Allocator for the standard glibc". 2007-09-16. Archived from the original on 2011-10-07. 
  5. ^ "GNU Common C++ Downloading". 
  6. ^ "I’m a Mac (or, “Emery Inside”)". 
  7. ^ "A look at how malloc works on the Mac". 

External links[edit]