Read-Copy Update (RCU)
RCU is a synchronization mechanism that is used in the Linux kernel to replace some uses of reader-writer locking and reference counting. The concepts behind RCU are quite simple: At its core, RCU is just a way of waiting for things to get done. However, effective use of RCU does require that you think about concurrency in a different way. RCU is only recently being added to university coursework, but fortunately there is quite a bit of documentation available:
- Documentation/RCU in the Linux-kernel source tree.
A number of LWN articles, including:
For additional documentation on RCU, see Documentation/RCU/RTFP.txt in your friendly Linux-kernel source tree.