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Re: [Xen-devel] [PATCH v5 3/8] qspinlock, x86: Add x86 specific optimization for 2 contending tasks

> After modifying it to do a deterministic cmpxchg, the test run time of 2
> contending tasks jumps up from 600ms (best case) to about 1700ms which was
> worse than the original qspinlock's 1300-1500ms. It is the opportunistic
> nature of the xchg() code that can potentially combine multiple steps in the
> deterministic atomic sequence which can saves time. Without that, I would
> rather prefer going back to the basic qspinlock queuing sequence for 2
> contending tasks.
> Please take a look at the performance data in my patch 3 to see if the
> slowdown at 2 and 3 contending tasks are acceptable or not.

Right; so I've gone back to a simple version (~200 lines) that's fairly
easy to comprehend (to me, since I wrote it). And will now try to see if
I can find the same state transitions in your code.

I find your code somewhat hard to follow; mostly due to those xchg() +
fixup thingies. But I'll get there.

> The reason why I need a whole byte for the lock bit is because of the simple
> unlock code of assigning 0 to the lock byte by the lock holder. Utilizing
> other bits in the low byte for other purpose will complicate the unlock path
> and slow down the no-contention case.

Yeah, I get why you need a whole byte for the lock part, I was asking if
we really need another whole byte for the pending part.

So in my version I think I see an optimization case where this is indeed
useful and I can trade an atomic op for a write barrier, which should be
a big win.

It just wasn't at all clear (to me) from your code.

(I also think the optimization isn't x86 specific)

> >>The code is unfair, but this unfairness help it to run faster than ticket
> >>spinlock in this particular case. And the regular qspinlock slowpath is
> >>fair. A little bit of unfairness in this particular case helps its speed.

> >*groan*, no, unfairness not cool. ticket lock is absolutely fair; we
> >should preserve this.
> We can preserve that by removing patch 3.

I've got a version that does the pending thing and still is entirely

I don't think the concept of the extra spinner is incompatible with

> >BTW; can you share your benchmark thingy?
> I have attached the test program that I used to generate the timing data for
> patch 3.

Thanks, I'll have a play.

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