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Computer Programming

What is spinlock?

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December 06, 2007 11:36PM

Semaphores are a useful tool for mutual exclusion, but they are not the only such tool provided by the kernel. Instead, most locking is implemented with a mechanism called a spinlock. Unlike semaphores, spinlocks may be used in code that cannot sleep, such as interrupt handlers. When properly used, spinlocks offer higher performance than semaphores in general. They do, however, bring a different set of constraints on their use.