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SubjectRe: Uses for memory barriers
On Tue, 19 Sep 2006, Paul E. McKenney wrote:

> > Maybe I'm missing something. But if the same CPU loads the value
> > before the store becomes visible to cache coherency, it might see
> > the value out of any order any of the other CPUs sees.
>
> Agreed. But the CPUs would have to refer to a fine-grained synchronized
> timebase or to some other variable in order to detect the fact that there
> were in fact multiple different values for the same variable at the same
> time (held in the different store queues).

Even that wouldn't be illegal. No one ever said that any particular write
becomes visible to all CPUs at the same time.

> If the CPUs looked only at that one single variable being stored to,
> could they have inconsistent opinions about the order of values that
> this single variable took on? My belief is that they could not.

Yes, I think this must be right. If a store is hung up in a CPU's store
buffer, it will mask later stores by other CPUs (i.e., prevent them from
becoming visible to the CPU that owns the store buffer). Hence all stores
that _do_ become visible will appear in a consistent order.

But my knowledge of outlandish hardware is extremely limited, so don't
take my word as gospel.

Alan

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