Stateless, layered, multi-threaded rendering – Part 4: Memory Management & Synchronization

The last post of this series basically concluded with the following questions: how do we efficiently allocate memory for individual command packets in the case of multiple threads adding commands to the same bucket? How can we ensure good cache utilization throughout the whole process of storing and submitting command packets?

This is what we are going to tackle today. I want to show how bad allocation behavior for command packets can affect the performance of the whole multi-threaded rendering process, and what our alternatives are.

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volatile != thread synchronization

Everybody knows that writing correct multithreaded code is hard, even when using proper synchronization primitives like mutexes, critical sections, and the likes. (Ab)using the volatile keyword for synchronization purposes makes a programmer’s life even harder – read on if you care to know why, and help spreading the word.

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