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SubjectRe: Re: [RFC][PATCH 2/5] mips/atomic: Fix loongson_llsc_mb() wreckage
On Tue, May 14, 2019 at 09:10:34AM -0700, Linus Torvalds wrote:
> On Tue, May 14, 2019 at 8:58 AM Peter Zijlstra <peterz@infradead.org> wrote:
> >
> > So if two variables share a line, and one is local while the other is
> > shared atomic, can contention on the line, but not the variable, cause
> > issues for the local variable?
> >
> > If not; why not? Because so far the issue is line granular due to the
> > coherence aspect.
>
> If I understood the issue correctly, it's not that cache coherence
> doesn't work, it's literally that the sc succeeds when it shouldn't.
>
> In other words, it's not going to affect anything else, but it means
> that "ll/sc" isn't actually truly atomic, because the cacheline could
> have bounced around to another CPU in the meantime.
>
> So we *think* we got an atomic update, but didn't, and the "ll/sc"
> pair ends up incorrectly working as a regular "load -> store" pair,
> because the "sc' incorrectly thought it still had exclusive access to
> the line from the "ll".
>
> The added memory barrier isn't because it's a memory barrier, it's
> just keeping the subsequent speculative instructions from getting the
> cacheline back and causing that "sc" confusion.
>
> But note how from a cache coherency standpoint, it's not about the
> cache coherency being wrong, it's literally just about the ll/sc not
> giving the atomicity guarantees that the sequence is *supposed* to
> give. So an "atomic_inc()" can basically (under just the wrong
> circumstances) essentially turn into just a non-atomic "*p++".

Understood; the problem is that "*p++" is not good enough for local_t
either (on load-store architectures), since it needs to be "atomic" wrt
all other instructions on that CPU, most notably exceptions.

The issue has come up before in this thread; but I don't think it was
clearly answered before.

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