[PATCH] Document Linux's memory barriers [try #2]

Paul Mackerras paulus at samba.org
Thu Mar 9 11:35:17 EST 2006

David Howells writes:

> On NUMA PowerPC, should mmiowb() be a SYNC or an EIEIO instruction then? Those
> do inter-component synchronisation.

We actually have quite heavy synchronization in read*/write* on PPC,
and mmiowb can safely be a no-op.  It would be nice to be able to have
lighter-weight synchronization, but I'm sure we would see lots of
subtle driver bugs cropping up if we did.  write* do a full memory
barrier (sync) after the store, and read* explicitly wait for the data
to come back before.

If you ask me, the need for mmiowb on some platforms merely shows that
those platforms' implementations of spinlocks and read*/write* are


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