Updated: 2021/Apr/14


XCALL(9)                   Kernel Developer's Manual                  XCALL(9)

NAME
     xcall, xc_broadcast, xc_unicast, xc_wait, xc_barrier - cross-call
     interface

SYNOPSIS
     #include <sys/xcall.h>

     typedef void (*xcfunc_t)(void *, void *);

     uint64_t
     xc_broadcast(u_int flags, xcfunc_t func, void *arg1, void *arg2);

     uint64_t
     xc_unicast(u_int flags, xcfunc_t func, void *arg1, void *arg2,
         struct cpu_info *ci);

     void
     xc_wait(uint64_t where);

     void
     xc_barrier(u_int flags);

DESCRIPTION
     The machine-independent xcall interface allows any CPU in the system to
     request that an arbitrary function be executed on any other CPU.

     Sometimes it is necessary to modify hardware state that is tied directly
     to individual CPUs (such as a CPU's local timer), and these updates can
     not be done remotely by another CPU.  The LWP requesting the update may
     be unable to guarantee that it will be running on the CPU where the
     update must occur, when the update occurs.

     Additionally, it is sometimes necessary to modify per-CPU software state
     from a remote CPU.  Where these update operations are so rare or the
     access to the per-CPU data so frequent that the cost of using locking or
     atomic operations to provide coherency is prohibitive, another way must
     be found.

     Cross calls help to solve these types of problem.  However, since this
     facility is heavyweight, it is expected that it will not be used often.

     xcall provides a mechanism for making "low priority" cross calls.  The
     function to be executed runs on the remote CPU within a thread context,
     and not from a software interrupt, so it can ensure that it is not
     interrupting other code running on the CPU, and so has exclusive access
     to the CPU.  Keep in mind that unless disabled, it may cause a kernel
     preemption.

     xcall also provides a mechanism for making "high priority" cross calls.
     The function to be executed runs on the remote CPU within a software
     interrupt context, possibly interrupting other lower-priority code
     running on the CPU.

NOTES
     Functions being called should be relatively lightweight.  They may block
     on locks, but carefully and minimally, to not interfere with other cross
     calls in the system.

FUNCTIONS
     xc_broadcast(flags, func, arg1, arg2)
           Call (*func)(arg1, arg2) on all CPUs in the system.  Return a
           uint64_t "ticket" to xc_wait() on for the cross-call to complete.
           flags should be XC_HIGHPRI or XC_HIGHPRI_IPL(ipl) for a "high
           priority" call, and 0 for a "low priority" call.  XC_HIGHPRI uses
           an IPL_SOFTSERIAL software interrupt while XC_HIGHPRI_IPL uses a
           software interrupt with an IPL specified by ipl.  xc_broadcast()
           should not be called from interrupt context.

     xc_unicast(flags, func, arg1, arg2, ci)
           Like xc_broadcast(), but call func on only the CPU indicated by ci.
           xc_unicast() also returns a "ticket".

     xc_wait(where)
           Wait on the "ticket" returned by a prior xc_broadcast() or
           xc_unicast() for the corresponding cross-call to complete.
           xc_wait() should be called from a thread context.

     xc_barrier(flags)
           Issue a broadcast cross-call that does nothing, and wait for it to
           complete.

           This functions like a memory barrier that forces all prior
           operations in program order to globally happen before all
           subsequent operations in program order, as witnessed by every CPU.

           This additionally waits for all higher-priority activity on the CPU
           to complete, according to flags:
           -   xc_barrier(0) waits for any pending kpreempt_disable(9)
               sections or activity at interrupt priority level above IPL_NONE
               to finish on all CPUs.
           -   xc_barrier(XC_HIGHPRI_IPL(ipl)) waits for any pending activity
               at the software interrupt priority level ipl or higher to
               finish on all CPUs.

           xc_barrier() is much more expensive than membar_ops(3), so it
           should be used sparingly, only to publish information infrequently
           -- for example, during module load and unload -- when the cost of a
           memory barrier on the consumer side would be prohibitive.

CODE REFERENCES
     The xcall interface is implemented within the file sys/kern/subr_xcall.c.

SEE ALSO
     membar_ops(3), kpreempt(9), percpu(9), softint(9)

HISTORY
     The xcall interface first appeared in NetBSD 5.0.

AUTHORS
     Andrew Doran <ad@NetBSD.org>

NetBSD 9.99                    February 1, 2020                    NetBSD 9.99