The “cache buffer chain” latch wait is normal, but high values are associated with high simultaneous buffer access, similar to a freelist shortage on an index or table segment header.
To identify the heavily accessed buffer chain, and hence the contended for block, look at latch statistics for the cache buffers chains latches using the view V$LATCH_CHILDREN. If there is a specific cache buffers chains child latch that has many more GETS, MISSES, and SLEEPS when compared with the other child latches, then this is the contended for child latch.
Usually latch contention for these buffer caches is due to poor disk I/O configuration. Reducing contention with these latches involves tuning the logical I/O for the associated SQL statements as well as the disk subsystem.
Another factor for latch contention with buffers chain latches could possibly be hot block contention.
Oracle Metalink Note # 163424.1 has some useful tips on tuning and identifying hot blocks within the Oracle database environment.
Latch requests come in two flavors, willing to wait and no-wait modes. In willing to wait mode, when a latch cannot be acquired, the acquiring session will go into a spin mode, attempting to acquire the latch over and over a specified number of times. After the number of spins has reached a specific threshold, the session will sleep for a specified period of time, wake up and try the latch again. Spin mode is bad, but sleep mode is worse!
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