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Re: patches for test-and-set without ll/sc (Re: thread-ready ABIs)

Subject: Re: patches for test-and-set without ll/sc (Re: thread-ready ABIs)
From: Machida Hiroyuki <>
Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2002 14:56:34 +0900
In-reply-to: <005301c1a368$87d27ed0$10eca8c0@grendel>
References: <> <005301c1a368$87d27ed0$10eca8c0@grendel>
Hi Kevin,

As you said, following codes can run fine if CPU has brach-likely.

From: "Kevin D. Kissell" <>
Subject: Re: patches for test-and-set without ll/sc (Re: thread-ready ABIs)
Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2002 18:16:25 +0100

> _atomic_inc_nollsc:
>         .set  noreorder
>         li    t0,MAGIC_COOKIE
> Retry:
>         mov      k1,t0
>         lw         t1,0(a0)
>         addiu    t1,t1,1
>         BEQL  k1,t0,done
>         sw        t1,0(a0)
>         b          Retry
>         nop
> done
>         jr        ra
>         nop


> If there is any doubt about the possibility of the
> MAGIC_COOKIE value being left in k1 (or
> k0, which could also be used as the "LL flop"
> if its behavior is more easily constrained), an
> explicit operation at the end of the fault handlers
> could be used to clear the register.  That would
> still be far less complex and intrusive than the mods 
> that you suggest below.

I think we should always "clear" k1 at the end of exception handler.
(Above "clear" means "set !MAGIC_COOKIE"). It's conaervative way,
but robust aginst future changes in exception handler.

> It should in principle be SMP safe.

I don't think so.

Suppose that 
        THREAD A is bound to CPU A and THREAD B is bound to CPU B.
        THREAD A and THREAD B are running on_atomic_inc_nollsc(). 
Two threads are really running at the same time, without
context-switch. In this case nobody clear k1.

Anyway, I will merge your brach-likely method and make some changes.

This change will provide signle interface of user level
test-and-set(), without LL/SC instruction emulation nor
system-call. So everyone will be able to run single user program
binary to on following three types of CPUs;  
        CPU has LL/SC,  
        CPU has no LL/SC, but has branch-likely and 
        CPU has neither LL/SC nor branch-likely.

Hiroyuki Machida
Sony Corp.

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