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The read-copy-update mechanism for supporting real-time applications on shared-memory multiprocessor systems with Linux

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4 Author(s)
Guniguntala, D. ; IBM India Systems and Technology Laboratory, EGL D Block, Indiranagar-Koramangala Intermediate Ring Road, Bangalore KA 560071 India ; McKenney, P.E. ; Triplett, J. ; Walpole, J.

Read-copy update (RCU) is a synchronization mechanism in the Linux™ kernel that provides significant improvements in multiprocessor scalability by eliminating the writer-delay problem of readers-writer locking. RCU implementations to date, however, have had the side effect of expanding non-preemptible regions of code, thereby degrading real-time response. We present here a variant of RCU that allows preemption of read-side critical sections and thus is better suited for real-time applications. We summarize priority-inversion issues with locking, present an overview of the RCU mechanism, discuss our counter-based adaptation of RCU for real-time use, describe an additional adaptation of RCU that permits general blocking in read-side critical sections, and present performance results. We also discuss an approach for replacing the readers-writer synchronization with RCU in existing implementations.

Note: The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Incorporated is distributing this Article with permission of the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) who is the exclusive owner. The recipient of this Article may not assign, sublicense, lease, rent or otherwise transfer, reproduce, prepare derivative works, publicly display or perform, or distribute the Article.  

Published in:

IBM Systems Journal  (Volume:47 ,  Issue: 2 )

Date of Publication:

2008

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