[PATCH 0/3] Add OMAP hardware spinlock misc driver

Peter Zijlstra peterz at infradead.org
Mon Oct 18 11:32:09 EDT 2010

On Mon, 2010-10-18 at 16:27 +0100, Catalin Marinas wrote:
> Peter Zijlstra <peterz at infradead.org> wrote:
> > On Mon, 2010-10-18 at 14:35 +0100, Russell King - ARM Linux wrote:
> >> In any case, Linux's spinlock API (or more accurately, the ARM exclusive
> >> access instructions) relies upon hardware coherency support (a piece of
> >> hardware called an exclusive monitor) which isn't present on the M3 nor
> >> DSP processors.  So there's no way to ensure that updates from the M3
> >> and DSP are atomic wrt the A9 updates.
> >
> > Right, so the problem is that there simply is no way to do atomic memory
> > access from these auxiliary processing units wrt the main CPU? Seeing as
> > they operate on the same memory space, wouldn't it make sense to have
> > them cache-coherent and thus provide atomicy guarantees through that?
> With cache coherency you may get atomicity of writes or reads but
> usually not atomic modifications.

Sure, but you can 'easily' extend your coherency protocols with support
for things like ll/sc (or larger transactions).

Have ll bring the cacheline into exclusive state and tag it, then
anything that demotes the cacheline will clear the tag and make sc fail.

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