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From: Cory Nelson (phrosty_at_[hidden])
Date: 2008-04-17 21:09:33

On Thu, Apr 17, 2008 at 5:24 PM, Patrick Twohig <p-twohig_at_[hidden]> wrote:
> Theoretically, the CAS should atomically compare and swap the value in one
> clock cycle. However, with multiple cores/processors/hyper threading where
> multiple instructions are being executed simultaneously over arbitrary
> numbers of clock cycles. There can be writes pending while you want to read
> from memory. As a result, when you go to read something another process
> will have written to but you read stale data. To combat this, you enforce a
> memory barrier, which guarantees that all pending memory transactions before
> the barrier have completed before moving on with the program. Additionally,
> some architectures (like x86) allow for unaligned access of memory. When an
> unaligned value is accessed, it sets an exception then it replaces the
> single read/write operation with multiple bus operations which wreaks havoc
> on any compare/swap operations.

They don't happen in a single cycle, I don't think there is anything
specifying that they should. Barriers aren't needed on x86 or x64,
other than compile-time only ones to make sure the compiler doesn't
reorder something.

Digging through my code, will try to get it up tonight.

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