VFP available on a single CPU in a dual-CPU complex

Will Deacon will.deacon at arm.com
Fri Aug 15 02:14:45 PDT 2014

On Fri, Aug 15, 2014 at 10:03:01AM +0100, Arnd Bergmann wrote:
> On Friday 15 August 2014, Florian Fainelli wrote:
> > Hello,
> > 
> > On Broadcom's BCM63138 SoC, the second Cortex A9 CPU does not have
> > VFP, which is a problem as one might imagine because we currently
> > assume it is available for all CPUs within the complex.
> Wow, that is pretty crazy.
> > I started to patch vfp_support_entry to test for CPU1 and branch to a
> > different location, but that raises a bunch of question, in particular
> > what to do if NEON/VFP came from the kernel, how can we migrate that
> > execution to CPU0?
> >
> > If the answer is don't use VFP, I guess that's fine, and I can have a
> > runtime check in vfp_init() that checks for BCM63138 and set
> > vfp_vector to vfp_null_entry even though we are running on a multi-v7
> > kernel with VFP enabled.
> I think adding hooks to the scheduler for this case is problematic, so
> the easiest way would of course be to give the user a choice between
> VFP or SMP on this hardware. For anything beyond that, you could do
> a prototype patch (possibly for integration into OpenWRT) so we can
> see how ugly it gets to support this setup.

I agree. We have something similar on the Realview-PBX (dual A9, only one
CPU with NEON) and the answer is not to enable NEON if you want SMP.


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