I have ASM code of some Windows *.exe in IDA:

mov     rax, [rbx+10h]
mov     ecx, edx
xor     edx, edx
xchg    rdx, [rax+rcx*8]

Which is decompiled to pseudocode to

_RAX = this->m_someMemoryPool;
_RCX = v4;
_RDX = 0i64;
__asm { xchg    rdx, [rax+rcx*8] }

If there won't be any memory barries, code would look like this

void* _RDX = m_someMemoryPool[v4];

But I'm wondering, what does xchg means here. Is it equivalent to

void* _RDX = NULL;
InterlockedExchange(&_RDX, m_someMemoryPool[v4]);

? Or there is more complicated synchronization construction should be used?

  • 2
    Are you are talking about the Microsoft Windows InterlockedExchange function which sets a variable to the specified value as an atomic operation? If so, then yes it is functionally equivalent. The XCHG instruction is implicitly bus-locked regardless of the absence of a LOCK prefix because of the access to a memory location.
    – fpmurphy
    Commented Sep 1, 2020 at 16:41

1 Answer 1


here is the sample code that will show both the constructs if there is an atomic exchange requirement you use the api or intrinsc provided else simply assign


#include <stdio.h>
#include <windows.h>
#include <intrin.h>

long tmp[10] = {NULL};
long *m_someMemoryPool[10] ={NULL};

int main (void) {
    tmp[0] = 0xbee5deed;
    long foo =0xbee5dead;
    m_someMemoryPool[0] = &tmp[0];
    printf("%p = %x\n" , m_someMemoryPool[0] , *(int *)(m_someMemoryPool[0]));
    _InterlockedExchange( m_someMemoryPool[0], foo);
    printf("%p = %x\n" , m_someMemoryPool[0] , *(int *)(m_someMemoryPool[0]));

compiled with vs2017 community as x86 with

cl /Zi /W4 /O1 /EHsc /analyze /nologo xchg.cpp /link /release


013499D0 = bee5deed
013499D0 = bee5dead


cdb -c "uf xchg!main;q" xchg.exe | awk "/Reading/,/quit/"
0:000> cdb: Reading initial command 'uf xchg!main;q'
01301029 56              push    esi
0130102a b9eddee5be      mov     ecx,0BEE5DEEDh    <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
0130102f b8d0993401      mov     eax,offset xchg!tmp (013499d0)
01301034 51              push    ecx
01301035 50              push    eax
01301036 be90013401      mov     esi,offset xchg!`string' (01340190)
0130103b 890dd0993401    mov     dword ptr [xchg!tmp (013499d0)],ecx
01301041 56              push    esi
01301042 a3f8993401      mov     dword ptr [xchg!m_someMemoryPool (013499f8)],eax
01301047 e821000000      call    xchg!printf (0130106d)
0130104c a1f8993401      mov     eax,dword ptr [xchg!m_someMemoryPool (013499f8)]
01301051 b9addee5be      mov     ecx,0BEE5DEADh
01301056 8708            xchg    ecx,dword ptr [eax]  <<<<<<<<<<<<<
01301058 a1f8993401      mov     eax,dword ptr [xchg!m_someMemoryPool (013499f8)]
0130105d ff30            push    dword ptr [eax]
0130105f 50              push    eax
01301060 56              push    esi
01301061 e807000000      call    xchg!printf (0130106d)
01301066 83c418          add     esp,18h
01301069 33c0            xor     eax,eax
0130106b 5e              pop     esi
0130106c c3              ret

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