A preferred embodiment of a symmetric multiprocessor system includes a switched fabric (switch matrix) for data transfers that provides multiple concurrent buses that enable greatly increased bandwidth between processors and shared memory. A Transaction Controller, Transaction Bus, and Transaction Status Bus are used for serialization, centralized cache control, and highly pipelined address transfers. The shared Transaction Controller serializes transaction requests from Initiator devices that can include CPU/Cache modules and Peripheral Bus modules. The Transaction Bus of an illustrative embodiment is implemented using segmented buses, distributed muxes, point-to-point wiring, and supports transaction processing at a rate of one transaction per clock cycle. The Transaction Controller monitors the Transaction Bus, maintains a set of duplicate cache-tags for all CPU/Cache modules, maps addresses to Target devices, performs centralized cache control for all CPU/Cache modules, filters unnecessary Cache transactions, and routes necessary transactions to Target devices over the Transaction Status Bus. The Transaction Status Bus includes both busbased and point-to-point control of the target devices. A modified rotating priority scheme is used to provide Starvation-free support for Locked buses and memory resources via backoff operations. Speculative memory operations are supported to further enhance performance.