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Re: atomic accesses


The Linux kernel, and probably some user-space applications and libraries
as well, depend on GCC guaranteeing (a variant of) the following:
"any access to a naturally aligned scalar object in memory
that is not a bit-field will be performed by a single machine
instruction whenever possible"
and it seems the current compiler actually does work like this.
Seems a pity to have the bit-field exception here, why is it there?
Bit-fields will generally require a read-modify-write instruction,
and I don't think we actually guarantee to generate one right now.

Well if they do require more than one instruction, the rule has no effect ("whenever possible"). If they can be done in one instruction (as on the x86), then why not require this, why make a special case?

Because current GCC doesn't work like this AFAIK. I'm aiming for a documentation-only change here, we can always extend it later.


Segher



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