Advice on a multithreaded netisr patch?

Robert Watson rwatson at
Wed Apr 8 06:16:54 PDT 2009

On Wed, 8 Apr 2009, Barney Cordoba wrote:

> Is there any work being done on lighter weight locks for queues? It seems 
> ridiculous to avoid using queues because of lock contention when the locks 
> are only protecting a couple lines of code.

My reading is that there are two, closely related, things going on: the first 
is lock contention, and the second is cache line contention.  We have a 
primitive in 8.x (don't think it's been MFC'd yet) for a lockless atomic 
buffer primitive for use in drivers and other parts of the stack.  However, 
that addresses only lock contention, not line contention, which at a high PPS 
will be an issue as well.  Only by moving to independent data structures 
(i.e., on independent cache lines) can we reduce line contention.

Robert N M Watson
Computer Laboratory
University of Cambridge

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