[RFC] gpio: about the need to manage irq mapping dynamically.

Jerome Brunet jbrunet at baylibre.com
Tue Jun 20 03:26:56 PDT 2017

On Tue, 2017-06-20 at 10:39 +0200, Linus Walleij wrote:
> On Thu, Jun 15, 2017 at 6:20 PM, Jerome Brunet <jbrunet at baylibre.com> wrote:
> > To handle this we tried:
> > - [0]: To create the mapping in the gpio_to_irq. Linus, you pointed out that
> > this is not allowed as gpio_to_irq is callable in irq context, therefore it
> > should not sleep. Actually 3 drivers [2] are calling gpio_to_irq in irq
> > handlers.
> This is not the problem. The problem is that gpio_to_irq() is entirely
> optional: it is not at all requires to have called gpio_to_irq() before using
> an IRQ from a GPIO line, as the interrupt chips and gpio chips are
> orthogonal.

Agreed. no problem with this
If you don't use gpio_to_irq, they are *completely* orthogonal.
If you do use gpio_to_irq, you are creating this tiny relationship which makes
all the difference, IMO.

> So if gpio_to_irq() is called, then a mapping needs to be retrieved, using
> an irqdomain or similar, and if one does not already exist, it should be
> mapped
> at this point.
> But actually doing the mapping/unmapping of IRQs and related resource
> management should be handled by the irqchip/irqdomain, not ever by
> gpio_to_irq().
> And someone may just be requesting an IRQ from the irqchip without
> calling gpio_to_irq(). Anytime. And with devicetree this happens all of the
> time.

Yes, for sure. But in this case there no issue as the mapping creation is
handled in device-tree code. PSB

> > I would also add that "gpio_to_irq" has no "free" counter part, so this
> > approach
> > leaks mappings.
> Exactly.
> > The fact that 26 gpio drivers [3] create mapping in the
> > gpio_to_irq callback shows that the problem of managing the irq mapping is
> > not
> > specific to Amlogic and that an evolution might be useful.
> Calling irq_create_mapping() in gpio_to_irq() is not a problem if
> the mapping is free:ed elsewhere. But yeah, there are lots of old
> drivers with old and erroneous solutions to this problem.

A lot of these drivers are old indeed, and dealing with all this history must be
quite a challenge ;)
However, some are fairly recent.

> > - [1]: To create an empty domain to get a virq for each pins but delay the
> > setup
> > of the interrupt hierarchy to the "irq_request_resources" callback. Testing
> > this
> > approach led me to some nasty race conditions in the interrupt handlers. I
> > discussed this solution with Marc and he told me that doing the setup of the
> > interrupt hierarchy in the irqchip callbacks is "too late" . If I understood
> > correctly (Marc feel to correct me if necessary), you should only get a virq
> > when the full interrupt hierarchy is setup, from the triggering device to
> > the
> > CPU.
> OK I am as always confused by "virq" which I guess means "virtual IRQ"
> which is confusing since all Linux IRQ numbers are in some sense
> virtual, and since this has nothing to do with virtualization, which is
> another
> area where IRQchips are very delicate.

Just using the usual irq wording (hwirq for the numbers specific to the
controller, virq for the linux interrupt numbers)

> But I get it.
> > With this last comment, I don't think there is a (clean) way ATM for a gpio
> > driver to create the mapping "on demand". By "on-demand", I mean the
> > consumer
> > drivers doing this kind of thing:
> > 
> > ret = request_irq(gpio_to_irq(GPIOX_Y), ... )
> > 
> > I would to like propose a way to fix that.
> OK solutions are good....
> > It is not going to be a oneline fix,
> > but I'm convinced we can do it w/o breaking anything:
> > 
> > 1) Introduce new gpio driver callbacks (.irq_prepare, .irq_unprepare):
> > Drivers
> > will be free to implement those callbacks or not. Driver which can create
> > all
> > their mappings at probe time would obviously skip those.
> > 
> > 2) Introduce gpio_irq_prepare and gpio_irq_unprepare to the gpio API: This
> > functions would do refcounting to handle shared irq and avoid wrongly
> > disposing
> > of used mappings. Then call the new drivers callbacks, if defined. A devm
> > version of gpio_irq_prepare might be usefull
> > 
> > 3) Add calls to gpio_irq_prepare to consumer drivers probe/init which use
> > the
> > gpio_to_irq callback. I don't think this is going to be that hard to do, but
> > it's going be to long and boring ...
> So how are you intending to deal with mixed semantics when, as in the
> devicetree case, the GPIO driver is also flagged as an interrupt-controller
> and consumers can request IRQs from it with just platform_get_irq()
> and expect it to work?

I don't think there any issue with this. PSB

> It seems this usecase drives a truck through that approach.
> The keyword is separation of concerns, the irqchip abstraction should
> deal with interrupts, we do not want the gpiochip to do half of the work.
> Here is an example from arch/arm/boot/dts/ste-snowball.dts:
> ethernet at 0 {
>         compatible = "smsc,lan9115";
>         reg = <0 0x10000>;
>         interrupts = <12 IRQ_TYPE_EDGE_RISING>;
>         interrupt-parent = <&gpio4>;
> (...)
> };
> Notice: no GPIOs are taken by this driver, this ethernet driver does not know
> that its interrupt is supplied by a GPIO, in fact on many platforms
> this ethernet
> chip has a dedicated IRQ line so that should not be required, i.e. the
> ethernet
> chip does not need to know that a GPIO controller is supplying this interrupt,
> why should it? It is just some interrupt.


> The driver looks like so drivers/net/ethernet/smsc/smsc911x.c:
> irq = platform_get_irq(pdev, 0);
> And that is all it does.
> The above usecase is not uncommon.

100% agreed, this is a common use case. In fact, I think driver should prefer
doing so instead of using gpio_to_irq when possible ... but this another issue
and we have to deal with what we have, right ?

So there is 2 use cases:
* What you described above: This is indeed completely orthogonal to gpio
framework. It will be using the irqchip callbacks only. In this particular case,
it is the device tree platform code which will handle the mapping creation for
See: of_device_alloc in drivers/of/platform.c:144, this will eventually call
irq_parse_and_map, which calls irq_create_mapping. 

* When a driver use the following approach:
-- ret = request_irq(gpio_to_irq(GPIOX_Y), ... )
of course the device tree code won't create the mapping for us.
It needs to be created in some other way.
I believe, only the gpio framework can do it at this point, and this where there
is a tiny relationship between the irq and gpio part, as mentioned above.

If we are lucky, all the mappings can be created for all pins at probe time. No
real management to be done in this case, just find your mapping a be done with

If, for whatever reason, the mappings can't all be created at probe time, then
you have problem with the drivers using request_irq(gpio_to_irq(GPIOX_Y), ... )
style ... where should we create this mapping ? There is no place holder for it.

IOW, DT provides a way to get irq and it manages the mapping creation. By
providing the gpio_to_irq call, the gpio framework also provides a path to get
interrupts for consumer driver. Mapping also needs to be managed. I think there
a hole there.

I think the solution described in this RFC provide a solution for this, but does
not change anything for the other approaches (DT-based interrupt specifier or
probe time mapping creation)

> If this interrupt+GPIO controller was using your scheme, where would these
> new callbacks be called?

In the consumer drivers which use the "request_irq(gpio_to_irq(GPIOX_Y), ... )"
approach, most likely in the probe/init function.

Driver have a choice, either
* use the gpio approach. I believe these drivers are actually interested in the
gpio state but would like to avoid polling monitoring. 
* use the DT approach, like your example with the ste-snowball. You don't care
about the gpio here, all care about is the event.

> Yours,
> Linus Walleij

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