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Re: [PATCH resend] Perf-tool/MIPS: support cross compiling of tools/perf

To: David Daney <ddaney@caviumnetworks.com>
Subject: Re: [PATCH resend] Perf-tool/MIPS: support cross compiling of tools/perf for MIPS
From: Ralf Baechle <ralf@linux-mips.org>
Date: Sat, 2 Oct 2010 10:59:47 +0900
Cc: Deng-Cheng Zhu <dengcheng.zhu@gmail.com>, linux-mips@linux-mips.org, a.p.zijlstra@chello.nl, paulus@samba.org, mingo@elte.hu, acme@redhat.com
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On Fri, Oct 01, 2010 at 02:45:17PM -0700, David Daney wrote:

> In user space the rmb() must expand to a SYNC instruction.  I am not
> sure what your version in the patch is doing with all those NOPs.  That
> is not guaranteed to do anything.

That's a rather old version of the kernel rmb macro I think.  The NOPs
where there to enforce ordering of a mix of cached and uncached accesses
on the R4400 (not R4000) where according to my reading the manual leaves
it a bit unclear if a SYNC is sufficient or if the pipeline needs to be
drained in addition.  See version 2 of the R4000/R4400 User's Manual.

> The instruction set specifications say that SYNC orders all loads and
> stores.  This is a heaver operation than rmb() demands, but is the only
> universally available instruction that imposes ordering.
> 
> For processors that do not support SYNC, the kernel will emulate it, so
> it is safe to use in userspace.  I wouldn't worry about emulation
> overhead though, because processors that lack SYNC probably also lack
> performance counters, so are not as interesting from a perf-tool point
> of view.

Yes, just use SYNC.  SYNC-less processors would only be R2000/R3000
processors and a few other oddball processors which for performance
optimization are totally uninteresting since years.

  Ralf

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