[Linaro-mm-sig] [PATCH/RFC 0/8] ARM: DMA-mapping framework redesign

Marek Szyprowski m.szyprowski at samsung.com
Wed Jun 22 02:59:24 EDT 2011


On Wednesday, June 22, 2011 6:53 AM Subash Patel wrote:

> On 06/20/2011 01:20 PM, Marek Szyprowski wrote:
> > Hello,
> >
> > This patch series is a continuation of my works on implementing generic
> > IOMMU support in DMA mapping framework for ARM architecture. Now I
> > focused on the DMA mapping framework itself. It turned out that adding
> > support for common dma_map_ops structure was not that hard as I initally
> > thought. After some modification most of the code fits really well to
> > the generic dma_map_ops methods.
> >
> > The only change required to dma_map_ops is a new alloc function. During
> > the discussion on Linaro Memory Management meeting in Budapest we got
> > the idea that we can have only one alloc/free/mmap function with
> > additional attributes argument. This way all different kinds of
> > architecture specific buffer mappings can be hidden behind the
> > attributes without the need of creating several versions of dma_alloc_
> > function. I also noticed that the dma_alloc_noncoherent() function can
> > be also implemented this way with DMA_ATTRIB_NON_COHERENT attribute.
> > Systems that just defines dma_alloc_noncoherent as dma_alloc_coherent
> > will just ignore such attribute.
> >
> > Another good use case for alloc methods with attributes is the
> > possibility to allocate buffer without a valid kernel mapping. There are
> > a number of drivers (mainly V4L2 and ALSA) that only exports the DMA
> > buffers to user space. Such drivers don't touch the buffer data at all.
> > For such buffers we can avoid the creation of a mapping in kernel
> > virtual address space, saving precious vmalloc area. Such buffers might
> > be allocated once a new attribute DMA_ATTRIB_NO_KERNEL_MAPPING.
> Are you trying to say here, that the buffer would be allocated in the
> user space, and we just use it to map it to the device in DMA+IOMMU
> framework?

Nope. I proposed an extension which would allow you to allocate a buffer
without creating the kernel mapping for it. Right now dma_alloc_coherent()
performs 3 operations:
1. allocates memory for the buffer
2. creates coherent kernel mapping for the buffer
3. translates physical buffer address to DMA address that can be used by
the hardware.

dma_mmap_coherent makes additional mapping for the buffer in user process
virtual address space.

I want make the step 2 in dma_alloc_coherent() optional to save virtual
address space: it is really limited resource. I really want to avoid 
wasting it for mapping 128MiB buffers just to create full-HD processing
hardware pipeline, where no drivers will use kernel mapping at all.

Best regards
Marek Szyprowski
Samsung Poland R&D Center

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