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Date:	Thu, 03 Jan 2013 11:45:25 -0500
From:	Steven Rostedt <rostedt@...dmis.org>
To:	Eric Dumazet <eric.dumazet@...il.com>
Cc:	Jan Beulich <JBeulich@...e.com>, Rik van Riel <riel@...hat.com>,
	therbert@...gle.com, walken@...gle.com, jeremy@...p.org,
	tglx@...utronix.de, aquini@...hat.com, lwoodman@...hat.com,
	linux-kernel@...r.kernel.org
Subject: Re: [RFC PATCH 3/3 -v2] x86,smp: auto tune spinlock backoff delay
 factor

On Thu, 2013-01-03 at 08:10 -0800, Eric Dumazet wrote:

> > But then would the problem even exist? If the lock is on its own cache
> > line, it shouldn't cause a performance issue if other CPUs are spinning
> > on it. Would it?
> 
> Not sure I understand the question.
> 

I'll explain my question better.

I thought the whole point of Rik's patches was to solve a performance
problem caused by contention on a lock that shares a cache line with
data.

In the ideal case, locks wont be contented, and are taken and released
quickly (being from the RT world, I know this isn't true :-( ). In this
case, it's also advantageous to keep the lock on the same cache line as
the data that's being updated. This way, the process of grabbing the
lock also pulls in the data that you will soon be using.

But then the problem occurs when you have a bunch of other CPUs trying
to take this lock in a tight spin. Every time the owner of the lock
touches the data, the other CPUs doing a LOCK read on the spinlock will
cause bus contention on the owner CPU as the data shares the cache and
needs to be synced. As the owner CPU just touched the cache line that is
under a tight loop of LOCK reads on other CPUs. By adding the delays,
the CPU with the lock doesn't stall at every update of the data
protected by the lock.

Thus, if monitor/mwait is ideal only for locks on its own cache line,
then they are pointless for the locks that are causing the issue we are
trying to fix.

-- Steve


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