[ovs-dev] [PATCH 03/18] lib/ovs-atomic: Add helpers for relaxed atomic access.

Jarno Rajahalme jrajahalme at nicira.com
Fri Aug 22 20:58:14 UTC 2014

When an atomic variable is not serving to synchronize threads about
the state of other (atomic or non-atomic) variables, no memory barrier
is needed with the atomic operation.  However, the default memory
order for an atomic operation is memory_order_seq_cst, which always
causes a system-wide locking of the memory bus and prevents both the
CPU and the compiler from reordering memory accesses accross the
atomic operation.  This can add considerable stalls as each atomic
operation (regardless of memory order) always includes a memory

In most cases we can let the compiler reorder memory accesses to
minimize the time we spend waiting for the completion of the atomic
memory accesses by using the relaxed memory order.  This patch adds
helpers to make such accesses a little easier on the eye (and the
fingers :-), but does not try to hide them completely.

Following patches make use of these and remove all the (implied)
memory_order_seq_cst use from the OVS code base.

Signed-off-by: Jarno Rajahalme <jrajahalme at nicira.com>
 lib/ovs-atomic.h |   33 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
 1 file changed, 33 insertions(+)

diff --git a/lib/ovs-atomic.h b/lib/ovs-atomic.h
index 9dd4d67..b1c7b22 100644
--- a/lib/ovs-atomic.h
+++ b/lib/ovs-atomic.h
@@ -379,6 +379,39 @@ typedef ATOMIC(int8_t)    atomic_int8_t;
 typedef ATOMIC(int16_t)   atomic_int16_t;
 typedef ATOMIC(int32_t)   atomic_int32_t;
+/* Relaxed atomic operations.
+ *
+ * When an operation on an atomic variable is not expected to synchronize
+ * with operations on other (atomic or non-atomic) variables, no memory
+ * barriers are needed and the relaxed memory ordering can be used.  These
+ * macros make such uses less daunting, but not invisible. */
+#define atomic_store_relaxed(VAR, VALUE)                        \
+    atomic_store_explicit(VAR, VALUE, memory_order_relaxed)
+#define atomic_read_relaxed(VAR, DST)                                   \
+    atomic_read_explicit(VAR, DST, memory_order_relaxed)
+#define atomic_compare_exchange_strong_relaxed(DST, EXP, SRC)     \
+    atomic_compare_exchange_strong_explicit(DST, EXP, SRC,        \
+                                            memory_order_relaxed, \
+                                            memory_order_relaxed)
+#define atomic_compare_exchange_weak_relaxed(DST, EXP, SRC)       \
+    atomic_compare_exchange_weak_explicit(DST, EXP, SRC,          \
+                                          memory_order_relaxed,   \
+                                          memory_order_relaxed)
+#define atomic_add_relaxed(RMW, ARG, ORIG)                              \
+    atomic_add_explicit(RMW, ARG, ORIG, memory_order_relaxed)
+#define atomic_sub_relaxed(RMW, ARG, ORIG)                              \
+    atomic_sub_explicit(RMW, ARG, ORIG, memory_order_relaxed)
+#define atomic_or_relaxed(RMW, ARG, ORIG)                               \
+    atomic_or_explicit(RMW, ARG, ORIG, memory_order_relaxed)
+#define atomic_xor_relaxed(RMW, ARG, ORIG)                              \
+    atomic_xor_explicit(RMW, ARG, ORIG, memory_order_relaxed)
+#define atomic_and_relaxed(RMW, ARG, ORIG)                              \
+    atomic_and_explicit(RMW, ARG, ORIG, memory_order_relaxed)
+#define atomic_flag_test_and_set_relaxed(FLAG)                          \
+    atomic_flag_test_and_set_explicit(FLAG, memory_order_relaxed)
+#define atomic_flag_clear_relaxed(FLAG)                         \
+    atomic_flag_clear_explicit(FLAG, memory_order_relaxed)
 /* Reference count. */
 struct ovs_refcount {
     atomic_uint count;

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