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Intel Pentium CPU Instruction Set Reference

LOCK instruction - Assert LOCK# Signal Prefix

Code Mnemonic Description
F0 LOCK Asserts LOCK# signal for duration of the accompanying instruction


Causes the processor's LOCK# signal to be asserted during execution of the accompanying instruction (turns the instruction into an atomic instruction). In a multiprocessor environment, the LOCK# signal insures that the processor has exclusive use of any shared memory while the signal is asserted.

Note that in later Intel Architecture processors (such as the Pentium Pro processor), locking may occur without the LOCK# signal being asserted. See Intel Architecture Compatibility below.

The LOCK prefix can be prepended only to the following instructions and to those forms of the instructions that use a memory operand: ADD, ADC, AND, BTC, BTR, BTS, CMPXCHG, DEC, INC, NEG, NOT, OR, SBB, SUB, XOR, XADD, and XCHG. An undefined opcode exception will be generated if the LOCK prefix is used with any other instruction. The XCHG instruction always asserts the LOCK# signal regardless of the presence or absence of the LOCK prefix.

The LOCK prefix is typically used with the BTS instruction to perform a read-modify-write operation on a memory location in shared memory environment.

The integrity of the LOCK prefix is not affected by the alignment of the memory field. Memory locking is observed for arbitrarily misaligned fields.

Operands Bytes Clocks
1 1 NP


ID unaffected DF unaffected
VIP unaffected IF unaffected
VIF unaffected TF unaffected
AC unaffected SF unaffected
VM unaffected ZF unaffected
RF unaffected AF unaffected
NT unaffected PF unaffected
IOPL unaffected CF unaffected
OF unaffected