For ARMv8 and RISC-V, there are concurrency models in two styles, extensionally equivalent: axiomatic models, expressing the concurrency semantics in terms of global properties of complete executions; and operational models, that compute incrementally. The latter are in an abstract microarchitectural style: they execute each instruction in multiple steps, out-of-order and with explicit branch speculation. This similarity to hardware implementations has been important in developing the models and in establishing confidence, but involves complexity that, for programming and model-checking, one would prefer to avoid.

We present new more abstract operational models for ARMv8 and RISC-V, and an exploration tool based on them. The models compute the allowed concurrency behaviours incrementally based on thread-local conditions and are significantly simpler than the existing operational models: executing instructions in a single step and (with the exception of early writes) in program order, and without branch speculation. We prove the models equivalent to the existing ARMv8 and RISC-V axiomatic models in Coq. The exploration tool is the first such tool for ARMv8 and RISC-V fast enough for exhaustively checking the concurrency behaviour of a number of interesting examples. We demonstrate using the tool for checking several standard concurrent datastructure and lock implementations, and for interactively stepping through model-allowed executions for debugging.