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SubjectRe: New filesystem for Linux
>> I have these questions:
>> * There is a rw semaphore that is locked for read for nearly all operations
>> and locked for write only rarely. However locking for read causes cache
>> line pingpong on SMP systems. Do you have an idea how to make it better?
>> It could be improved by making a semaphore for each CPU and locking for
>> read only the CPU's semaphore and for write all semaphores. Or is there a
>> better method?
> If you believe you need a semaphore for protecting a mostly read structure,
> then RCU is certainly a good candidate. (ie no locked operation at all)

RCU is for non-blocking operation only.

Maybe it could be use for maintaining an unlocked variable that prevents
readers from entering a critical section --- but waiting in a write for a
quiscent state would hurt.

> The problem with a per_cpu biglock is that you may consume a lot of RAM for
> big NR_CPUS. Count 32 KB per 'biglock' if NR_CPUS=1024
>> * This leads to another observation --- on i386 locking a semaphore is 2
>> instructions, on x86_64 it is a call to two nested functions. Has it some
>> reason or was it just implementator's laziness? Given the fact that locked
>> instruction takes 16 ticks on Opteron (and can overlap about 2 ticks with
>> other instructions), it would make sense to have optimized semaphores too.
> Hum, please dont use *lazy*, this could make Andi unhappy :)
> What are you calling semaphore exactly ?
> Did you read Documentation/mutex-design.txt ?

I see --- I could replace that semaphore with mutex. But rw-semaphores
can't be replaces with them.

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