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SubjectRe: readl/writel and memory barriers
On Tue, Feb 19, 2002 at 03:11:45PM -0500, Dan Maas wrote:
> I have a hunch that many drivers will break if you change the semantics of
> readX/writeX from in-order to out-of-order - lots of drivers are only
> developed & tested on x86, which completely hides the issue...

Fortunately, I don't think things are quite that bad. As David
pointed out, on ia64 the readX/writeX stuff is ordered coming out of
the CPU, so if you're in a spinlock protected region, for example, all
the reads/writes you do will occur in order. The problem that I'm
trying to solve is that on some platforms, I/O space references won't
necessarily occur in order if they come from different CPUs. E.g.
after you do some I/O and drop a spinlock, another CPU may pick it up
and start doing some I/O that *may* get intermixed with the I/O from
the previous holder of the spinlock unless you explicity barrier said
I/O.

Any ideas on how to address this issue? I was thinking of either
introducing an I/O space barrier (currently called mmiob() in the 2.5
ia64 patch) or taking the performance hit in mb, rmb, and wmb, as well
as readX/writeX to ensure proper ordering. Or, as I mentioned in
another mail, we could have a special io_spin_unlock routine that does
the barrier for you. Comments?

Thanks,
Jesse
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