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SubjectRe: Real-Time Preemption and RCU
On Fri, 18 Mar 2005, Ingo Molnar wrote:

>
> * Ingo Molnar <mingo@elte.hu> wrote:
>
> > [...] How about something like:
> >
> > void
> > rcu_read_lock(void)
> > {
> > preempt_disable();
> > if (current->rcu_read_lock_nesting++ == 0) {
> > current->rcu_read_lock_ptr =
> > &__get_cpu_var(rcu_data).lock;
> > preempt_enable();
> > read_lock(current->rcu_read_lock_ptr);
> > } else
> > preempt_enable();
> > }
> >
> > this would still make it 'statistically scalable' - but is it correct?
>
> thinking some more about it, i believe it's correct, because it picks
> one particular CPU's lock and correctly releases that lock.
>
> (read_unlock() is atomic even on PREEMPT_RT, so rcu_read_unlock() is
> fine.)
>

Why can should there only be one RCU-reader per CPU at each given
instance? Even on a real-time UP system it would be very helpfull to have
RCU areas to be enterable by several tasks as once. It would perform
better, both wrt. latencies and throughput:
With the above implementation an high priority task entering an RCU area
will have to boost the current RCU reader, make a task switch until that
one finishes and makes yet another task switch. to get back to the high
priority task. With an RCU implementation which can take n RCU readers per CPU
there is no such problem.

Also having all tasks serializing on one lock (per CPU) really destroys
the real-time properties: The latency of anything which uses RCU will be
the worst latency of anything done under the RCU lock.

When I looked briefly at it in the fall the following solution jumped into
mind: Have a RCU-reader count, rcu_read_count, for each CPU. When you
enter an RCU read region increment it and decrement it when you go out of
it. When it is 0, RCU cleanups are allowed - a perfect quiescent state. At
that point call rcu_qsctr_inc() at that point. Or call it in schedule() as
now just with a if(rcu_read_count==0) around it.
I don't think I understand the current code. But if it works now with
preempt_disable()/preempt_enable() around all the read-regions it ought to
work with
preempt_enable();
rcu_read_count++/--;
preempt_disable()
around the same regions and the above check for rcu_read_count==0 in or
around rcu_qsctr_inc() as well.

It might take a long time before the rcu-batches are actually called,
though, but that is a different story, which can be improved upon. An
improvemnt would be to boost the none-RT tasks entering a rcu-read region
into the lowest RT-priority. That way there can't be a lot of low
priority tasks hanging around making rcu_read_count non-zero for a long
period of time since these tasks only can be preempted by RT tasks while
in the RCU-region.

> Ingo

Esben



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