Exploiting Dual Core's with Py_NewInterpreter's separated GIL ?

"Martin v. Löwis" martin at v.loewis.de
Sun Nov 5 12:08:40 CET 2006

Paul Rubin schrieb:
> I dunno about x86 hardware signals but these instructions do
> read-modify-write operaitons.  That means there has to be enough
> interlocking to prevent two cpu's from updating the same memory
> location simultaneously, which means the CPU's have to communicate.
> See <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MESI_protocol> (I think this is
> how the current x86's do it):

Ah, but in the case where the lock# signal is used, it's known that
the data is not in the cache of the CPU performing the lock operation;
I believe it is also known that the data is not in the cache of any
other CPU. So the CPU performing the LOCK INC sequence just has
to perform two memory cycles. No cache coherency protocol runs
in that case.

But even when caching is involved, I don't see why there should be
more than three memory cycles. The MESI "protocol" really consists
only of two pins: HIT# and HITM#; the actual implementation is just
in keeping the state for each cache line, and in snooping. There
CPU's don't really "communicate". Instead, if one processor tries
to fill a cache line, the others snoop the read, and assert either
HIT# (when they have not modified their cache lines) or HITM#
(when they do have modified their cache lines). Assertions of
these signals is also immediate.

The worst case would be that one processor performs a LOCK INC,
and another processor has the modified value in its cache line.
So it needs to first flush the cache line, before the other
processor can modify the memory. If the memory is not cached
yet in another processor, the MESI protocol does not involve
additional penalties.


More information about the Python-list mailing list