A method and mechanism for allocating transaction tags. A request queue includes a counter whose value is used to identify a corresponding tag of a plurality of unique tags. The queue is configured to increment the counter and use the current count value to index into a buffer pool. If the tag corresponding to the currently indexed buffer pool entry is available for allocation, a determination is made as to whether the currently identified tag is corresponds to the last tag which has been de-allocated. If the identified available buffer pool entry/tag matches the last tag which was de-allocated, the queue continues the process of counter incrementation and searching of the buffer pool for an available entry to select for allocation. When a request is received, the currently selected tag is allocated. Additional circuitry may be used to identify a fallback tag in the event a request is received while the queue is searching for a tag. In such an event, the fallback tag may be allocated.
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