[PATCH 10/10] ARM: pbl: Add an option to validate DRAM

Alexander Aring alex.aring at gmail.com
Sat May 23 13:44:30 PDT 2015


On Sat, May 23, 2015 at 11:48:41AM -0700, Andrey Smirnov wrote:
> On Tue, May 19, 2015 at 12:06 AM, Sascha Hauer <s.hauer at pengutronix.de> wrote:
> > Hi Andrey,
> >
> > On Wed, May 13, 2015 at 07:54:27PM -0700, Andrey Smirnov wrote:
> >> Add an option to perform DRAM region validation before using it. The
> >> framework allows individual boards to set up a memory validaion hook
> >> that would be called prior to Barebox using that region of memory.
> >>
> >> Signed-off-by: Andrey Smirnov <andrew.smirnov at gmail.com>
> >
> > What usecase do you have for this patch?
> The usecase is to be able to have a hardware verification build of the
> boot-loader which can be used to test the boards in manufacturing.
> > Is it debugging or something  you always want to enable on your hardware?
> I need it to be always enabled only in a special build of the BL.
> > Why must the validate_memory_range function be board specific?
> Because the choice of a memory validation algorithm depends on many factors:
> - Speed vs. how extensive you want your tests to be
> - Chosen memory fault model (DDR vs. SRAM would be different)
> - etc.
> Also various memory controllers also might various degree of low level
> control so some might allow the developer to flip more switches and
> test more corner cases.
> >
> > I see that you call validate_memory_range on potentially large areas of
> > memory, so I wonder if you can't call validate_memory_range from your
> > board setup code with the complete memory instead.
> Even with the current algorithm implemented in mem_test() (which ,
> having read a number of academic papers on memory testing, I don't
> believe is comprehensible enough) testing any significant of memory
> takes a very noticeable amount of time. I wanted to spend as little
> amount of time without having access to extended Barebox functionality
> to communicate with the rest of the world(like networking, proper
> serial) as possible so I set up the algorithm the way it is and
> configured Barebox to have a small(3MB) heap.
> Also, testing all of the memory in PBL code brings up the question of
> what is the point of 'memtest' command? If the only comprehensive way

The memtest command enable/disable caches and running the memtest
function. The memtest function is moslty the same like it was when I
touched the code, it's original taken from u-boot code [0]. The memtest
will run on all memory space which is not allocated by barebox
automatically, the command before had some simple "start" and "end"
address parameters and you had some luck if you doesn't hit any core
functionality of barebox.

> of testing memory is in PBL code than, IMHO, that function is not very
> useful.

The memtest function or the memtest command? If I remember correctly
then the memtest function was exported out of memtest command exactly
for the reason to use it in PBL or anywhere for debugging. The memtest
command is just simple to use.

- Alex

[0] http://git.denx.de/?p=u-boot.git;a=blob;f=common/cmd_mem.c;h=2e85d53dd23c02902b6e4973ad3cb2e98bbda678;hb=HEAD#l711

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