Re: [RFC] arch: Introduce new TSO memory barrier smp_tmb()

From: Paul E. McKenney
Date: Mon Nov 04 2013 - 12:02:54 EST

On Mon, Nov 04, 2013 at 11:05:53AM +0000, Will Deacon wrote:
> On Sun, Nov 03, 2013 at 11:34:00PM +0000, Linus Torvalds wrote:
> > So it would *kind* of act like a "smp_wmb() + smp_rmb()", but the
> > problem is that a "smp_rmb()" doesn't really "attach" to the preceding
> > write.
> Agreed.
> > This is analogous to a "acquire" operation: you cannot make an
> > "acquire" barrier, because it's not a barrier *between* two ops, it's
> > associated with one particular op.
> >
> > So what I *think* you actually really really want is a "store with
> > release consistency, followed by a write barrier".
> How does that order reads against reads? (Paul mentioned this as a
> requirement). I not clear about the use case for this, so perhaps there is a
> dependency that I'm not aware of.

An smp_store_with_release_semantics() orders against prior reads -and-
writes. It maps to barrier() for x86, stlr for ARM, and lwsync for
PowerPC, as called out in my prototype definitions.

> > In TSO, afaik all stores have release consistency, and all writes are
> > ordered, which is why this is a no-op in TSO. And x86 also has that
> > "all stores have release consistency, and all writes are ordered"
> > model, even if TSO doesn't really describe the x86 model.
> >
> > But on ARM64, for example, I think you'd really want the store itself
> > to be done with "stlr" (store with release), and then follow up with a
> > "dsb st" after that.
> So a dsb is pretty heavyweight here (it prevents execution of *any* further
> instructions until all preceeding stores have completed, as well as
> ensuring completion of any ongoing cache flushes). In conjunction with the
> store-release, that's going to hold everything up until the store-release
> (and therefore any preceeding memory accesses) have completed. Granted, I
> think that gives Paul his read/read ordering, but it's a lot heavier than
> what's required.

I do not believe that we need the trailing "dsb st".

> > And notice how that requires you to mark the store itself. There is no
> > actual barrier *after* the store that does the optimized model.
> >
> > Of course, it's entirely possible that it's not worth worrying about
> > this on ARM64, and that just doing it as a "normal store followed by a
> > full memory barrier" is good enough. But at least in *theory* a
> > microarchitecture might make it much cheaper to do a "store with
> > release consistency" followed by "write barrier".
> I agree with the sentiment but, given that this stuff is so heavily
> microarchitecture-dependent (and not simple to probe), a simple dmb ish
> might be the best option after all. That's especially true if the
> microarchitecture decided to ignore the barrier options and treat everything
> as `all accesses, full system' in order to keep the hardware design simple.

I believe that we can do quite a bit better with current hardware
instructions (in the case of ARM, for a recent definition of "current")
and also simplify the memory ordering quite a bit.

Thanx, Paul

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