top of page

Subscribe to Wisdom

Thanks for Subscribing!

  • Writer's pictureDimit Chadha

Intrinsic Locks - Synchronization

Every object has a natural lock associated with it known as an intrinsic lock.A thread that needs to access object's fields has to acquire the object's intrinsic lock, use it & then release the intrinsic lock when it's done with them. During the time thread hold the lock, no other thread can acquire the same lock.

Ways to Synchronize

Synchronized Methods

When a thread invokes a synchronized method, it automatically acquires the intrinsic lock for that method’s object and releases it when the method returns. The lock release occurs even if the return was caused by an uncaught exception.

In case of static synchronized method, thread acquires a lock for the class object rather then method’s object.

Synchronized Block (using this)

Unlike synchronized methods, synchronized statements must specify the object that provides the intrinsic lock.

public void updateStatus(String status) {
    synchronized(this) {
        newStatus = status;

In above both assigning new status and increment counter are inside synchronized block & hence thread safe but adding to list is out side & hence not thread safe.

Synchronized Block (using object instance)

A way to improve concurrency with fine-grained synchronization. class Increment has two instance fields, c1 and c2, that are not related. All updates of these fields must be synchronized, but there’s no reason to prevent an update of c1 from being interleaved with an update of c2 — and doing so reduces concurrency by creating unnecessary blocking. Instead of using synchronized methods or otherwise using the lock associated with this, we create two objects solely to provide locks.

public class MsLunch {
    private long c1 = 0;
    private long c2 = 0;
    private Object lock1 = new Object();
    private Object lock2 = new Object();
    public void inc1() {
        synchronized(lock1) {
    public void inc2() {
        synchronized(lock2) {

Reentrant Synchronization

This happens when a thread acquire the same lock more than once. Arises when synchronized code, directly or indirectly, invokes a method that also contains synchronized code, and both sets of code use the same lock. Without reentrant synchronization, synchronized code would have to take many additional precautions to avoid having a thread cause itself to block.

9 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Modern Digital Watch
bottom of page