Failure to allocate large memory blocks upon firmware crash

Kalle Valo kvalo at
Fri Mar 21 04:54:28 EDT 2014

Hi Avery,

thanks again for the excellent analysis!

Avery Pennarun <apenwarr at> writes:

> However, when the firmware crashes, I'm sometimes seeing a followup
> memory allocation failure like this:
> ath10k: could not suspend target (-11)
> <6>[30094.735100] : ieee80211 phy1: Hardware restart was requested
> <4>[30094.995413] : kworker/0:1: page allocation failure: order:4, mode:0x20
> <4>[30094.995427] : Backtrace:


> <3>[30095.077634] : ath10k: Failed to initialize CE src ring for ID: 4 (-12)
> <3>[30095.077646] : ath10k: failed to initialize CE for pipe: 4
> <3>[30095.077678] : ath10k: failed to initialize CE: -1
> <4>[30095.077692] : ath10k: failed to power up target using warm reset
> (-1), trying cold reset
> <7>[30095.165692] z: 03/19/14 09:18:24.116 cap(1):Warning-Unexpected
> packet[297]-pld:{843f6a2191e10147 aa294ff5363573ea 86e610a162a190b4
> 13c096a8349fe599}
> <1>[30095.305945] : Unable to handle kernel NULL pointer dereference
> at virtual address 00000139
> <1>[30095.312742] : pgd = 84004000
> <1>[30095.312755] : [00000139] *pgd=00000000


> Someone at work helpfully diagnosed it as follows.  Is there a plan to
> update to the new DMA API

Does this refer to using dma_alloc_coherent() & co? Yes, we should do

> and/or use smaller block allocations

For this I'm not that sure. I guess it would be nice to have, but not so
important? Maybe for hotplugging this would be important?

> and/or allocate the memory areas at startup time and never free them?

Well, we should free them during remove ;) But yeah, we really should do
that as well.

> The secondary issue here (and what is causing the kernel panic)
> is that a tasklet is still running & referencing memory that
> was torn down when the reset failed.  My sources don't match
> yours, so I can't see what is exactly happening.

This is also a problem we need to investigate. Do you have any more info
where the null pointer dereference happened?

Kalle Valo

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