In this article, we’ll cover Volatile and when we need to use it in multithreading programming.
volatile keyword is used to mark a Java variable as "being stored in main memory". That means, that every read of a volatile variable will be read from the computer's main memory (RAM), and not from the CPU cache and that each writes to a volatile variable will be written to the RAM, and not just to the CPU cache.
Since Java 5 the
volatile keyword guarantees more than just that volatile variables are written to and read from main memory.
volatile keyword guarantees visibility of changes to variables across threads.
In a multithreaded application where the threads operate on non-volatile variables, each thread may copy variables from RAM memory into a CPU cache while working on them, for performance reasons. If your computer contains more than one CPU, each thread may run on a different CPU. That means, that each thread may copy the variables into the CPU cache of different CPUs.
Here is a simple visualization:
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