The implementation of a semaphore with a waiting queue may result in a situation where two or more processes are waiting indefinitely for an event that can be caused only by one of the waiting processes. The event in question is the execution of a signal() operation. When such a state is reached, these processes are said to be deadlocked
To illustrate this, consider a system consisting of two processes, P0 and P1, each accessing two semaphores, S and Q, set to the value 1:
Suppose that P0 executes wait(S) and then P1 executes wait(Q). When P0 executes wait(Q), it must wait until P1 executes signal(Q). Similarly, when P1 executes wait(S), it must wait until P0 executes signal(S). Since these signal() operations cannot be executed, P0 and P1 are deadlocked.