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STM support in OCaml
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Date: -- (:)
From: Robert Roessler <roessler@r...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] STM support in OCaml
Brian Hurt wrote:
> On Thu, 9 Mar 2006, skaller wrote:
> 
>> Ahem. Now try that on an AMDx2 (dual core). The cost goes through
>> the roof if one process has a thread on each core. Because each
>> core has its own cache and both caches have to be flushed/
>> synchronised. And those caches are BIG!
> 
> Love to.  Wanna buy me the box?  :-}  Seriously- my code is attached, if 
> someone wants to run it on other boxes and post the results, feel free. 
> It's GNU-C/x86 specific, as I'm using GNU C's inline assembler and the 
> rdtsc instruction to get accurate cycle counts.
> 
> As to the cache comment: the whole caches don't have to be flushed, just 
> the line the mutex is on.  Which makes it approximately the cost of a 
> cache miss- that's a good approximation of the cost of getting an 
> uncontended lock.
> 
>>
>> I have no idea if Linux, for example, running SMP kernel,
>> is smart enough to know if a mutex is shared between two
>> processing units or not: AFAIK Linux doesn't support
>> interprocess mutex. Windows does. Be interesting to
>> compare.
> 
> It doesn't look like the mutex software is even going into the kernel. I 
> don't think the Linux kernel even knows the mutex *exists*, let alone 
> what threads are competing for it.  On the x86, at least, lock 
> instructions are not priveledged.

Brian [, this may be fairly off-topic, but], could you possibly
comment on how these results may or may not pertain to g_mutex_lock
(rather than pthread_mutex_lock)?

I have been going to some trouble to operate a glyph-string cache
without needing any locking for the *lookup* case - which is doable,
only needing locking for *adding*.  OTOH, for the flushing operation,
it looks a bit tougher... ;)

But if g_mutex_lock/g_mutex_unlock is not all that grim...

Robert Roessler
roessler@rftp.com
http://www.rftp.com