[PATCH v2] ARM: l2x0: make background cache ops optional for clean and flush range

Catalin Marinas catalin.marinas at arm.com
Tue Sep 18 04:21:27 EDT 2012

On Tue, Sep 18, 2012 at 03:43:55AM +0100, Rob Herring wrote:
> On 09/17/2012 04:47 PM, Russell King - ARM Linux wrote:
> > On Mon, Sep 17, 2012 at 03:29:14PM -0500, Rob Herring wrote:
> >> On 09/17/2012 02:47 PM, Russell King - ARM Linux wrote:
> >>> (a) you're not describing hardware, you're describing a feature of the
> >>>     Linux kernel's implementation - no, you're describing a configuration
> >>>     feature of the kernel.  This should not be in DT.
> >>> (b) you're disabling the optimization to avoid doing a lengthy line-by-line
> >>>     cache operation when the size is larger than the cache size, and trading
> >>>     it for possibly slightly quicker accesses.
> >>>
> >>> The problem I have with this is it's likely that you've only looked at
> >>> "oh, this makes IO accesses faster" and not the total picture wrt the
> >>> effect on time taken by the DMA API.
> >>
> >> I could easily "fix" this in the xgmac driver by using __raw_writel or
> >> writel_relaxed, but that would break non-coherent operation which does
> >> need the L2 cache barriers.
> > 
> > Note that in many cases, drivers do not need a barrier before every write
> > or after every read operation.
> > 
> > In terms of L2 coherency, the only time that L2 actually needs to be
> > touched is when your MMIO access provokes the device to read from memory.
> > Most accesses do not.
> Agreed. The current approach is a bit of a sledge hammer for relatively
> few places that need it.
> > The solution - using the relaxed MMIO accessors, not fiddling around
> > with the L2 cache code.
> I have done that in critical paths as well. As I explained in my
> response to Catalin, too many barriers is not my problem. The network
> transmit path is a single writel and one explicit wmb already. Using
> relaxed accessors will only make both wmb's explicit. I still need them
> at least for the L1 in the coherent case. Even if I'm coherent, I still
> have to ensure the order the DMA descriptors are written and the order
> of DMA descriptor writes with the DMA poll register write. But there are
> not any universal L1 only barriers.
> The sequence is like this:
> Write out N DMA descriptors
> barrier
> Write 1st DMA descriptor's ready bit
> barrier
> Write DMA poll register
> For non-coherent, the barrier needs to be a dsb and L2 sync. For
> coherent, this only really needs to be a dsb. Removal of the spinlock is
> enough to make the L2 sync a don't care.

Is your platform coherent for all devices? You could override the
outer_sync() to be a no-op. You wouldn't need it for other operations
and DSB is enough.

> > However, there's an in-built problem here - which I'm told of by PowerPC
> > folk.  Apparantly, Linus refuses to accept that anyone needs relaxed MMIO
> > accessors and essentially says "all platforms must behave like x86 does".
> > I don't actually know Linus' real position, or what his position would be
> > if he new that without relaxed accessors, we have to do a very time
> > consuming operation...  It might be worth broaching the subject of true
> > relaxed MMIO accessors again.
> > 
> > The only issue with that approach is getting people who don't have the
> > problem (iow, x86 driver authors) to understand this issue - and that's
> > where I absolutely agree with Linus' apparant position...
> Also, how much of this knowledge should be in the driver? While I really
> don't care if the xgmac driver works in non-coherent mode, that's
> clearly not going to be acceptable. Differences between coherent or
> non-coherent need to stay abstracted out of the drivers.

I agree. So you either change outer_sync() for your platform if it is
fully coherent or improve the DMA API (the latter requiring wider
acceptance, though it has more benefits).

Dropping the locks in cache-l2x0.c is not the right solution. It seems
that you don't actually need the L2 cache sync for your device at all.


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