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By using the address of the primitive as the key, you can be sure that no one else matches, and you get the behaviour you desire.
The only limitation is that the lowest bit of the key must be unset.
A critical section is "uninitialized" when it is first created.
To initialize one, memory needs to be allocated, and a resources.
The limitation that some sort of waiter-count is required means that even though there is no specific limit to what state can be protected by this API, it will be limited to something roughly the size of an integer, just like Futexes.
The extra bit prevents a large amount of inefficiency due to the relatively slow windows system calls.
Note that to compile the above, is needed in order to link to the low-level API exposed by the Windows kernel.
The flags parameter according to the Nt Internals website is reserved, and should be set to zero.
Once a handle is obtained, there are two functions that use them: NTSTATUS NTAPI Nt Wait For Keyed Event(IN HANDLE handle, IN PVOID key, IN BOOLEAN alertable, IN PLARGE_INTEGER mstimeout) NTSTATUS NTAPI Nt Release Keyed Event(IN HANDLE handle, IN PVOID key, IN BOOLEAN alertable, IN PLARGE_INTEGER mstimeout) The first function allows a thread to go to sleep, waiting on the event signaled by the second function.
These are slow because a userspace-kernelspace transition is required for their use. This, similar to mutexes on pthreads in Linux, has a fast-path where no transition to kernelspace via a system call is needed.