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MySQL 5.7 Reference Manual  /  ...  /  Configuring Spin Lock Polling

14.8.9 Configuring Spin Lock Polling

InnoDB mutexes and rw-locks are typically reserved for short intervals. On a multi-core system, it can be more efficient for a thread to continuously check if it can acquire a mutex or rw-lock for a period of time before it sleeps. If the mutex or rw-lock becomes available during this period, the thread can continue immediately, in the same time slice. However, too-frequent polling of a shared object such as a mutex or rw-lock by multiple threads can cause cache ping pong, which results in processors invalidating portions of each other's cache. InnoDB minimizes this issue by forcing a random delay between polls to desychronize polling activity. The random delay is implemented as a spin-wait loop.

The duration of a spin-wait loop is determined by the number of PAUSE instructions that occur in the loop. That number is generated by randomly selecting an integer ranging from 0 up to but not including the innodb_spin_wait_delay value, and multiplying that value by 50. For example, an integer is randomly selected from the following range for an innodb_spin_wait_delay setting of 6:


The selected integer is multiplied by 50, resulting in one of six possible PAUSE instruction values:


For that set of values, 250 is the maximum number of PAUSE instructions that can occur in a spin-wait loop. An innodb_spin_wait_delay setting of 5 results in a set of five possible values {0,50,100,150,200}, where 200 is the maximum number of PAUSE instructions, and so on. In this way, the innodb_spin_wait_delay setting controls the maximum delay between spin lock polls.

The duration of the delay loop depends on the C compiler and the target processor. In the 100MHz Pentium era, an innodb_spin_wait_delay unit was calibrated to be equivalent to one microsecond. That time equivalence did not hold, but PAUSE instruction duration has remained fairly constant in terms of processor cycles relative to other CPU instructions on most processor architectures.

On a system where all processor cores share a fast cache memory, you might reduce the maximum delay or disable the busy loop altogether by setting innodb_spin_wait_delay=0. On a system with multiple processor chips, the effect of cache invalidation can be more significant and you might increase the maximum delay.

The innodb_spin_wait_delay variable is dynamic. It can be specified in a MySQL option file or modified at runtime using a SET GLOBAL statement. Runtime modification requires privileges sufficient to set global system variables. See Section, “System Variable Privileges”.