[PATCH 1/1] ARM: Exynos: Add generic compatible string

Tomasz Figa t.figa at samsung.com
Thu Feb 20 09:51:59 EST 2014

[adding DT ML and DT maintainers on Cc for some discussion]

On 20.02.2014 05:14, Sachin Kamat wrote:
> Hi Tomasz,
> On 19 February 2014 18:15, Tomasz Figa <t.figa at samsung.com> wrote:
>> Hi Sachin,
>> [adding linux-arm-kernel ML to CC list]
>> On 19.02.2014 12:34, Sachin Kamat wrote:
>>> To avoid modifying the kernel every time a new SoC variant
>>> comes out.
> <snip>
>> Since all Exynos chips can be easily recognized using dedicated chip ID
>> register, I wonder whether we really need to maintain two distinct board
>> files for Exynos 4 and 5 series, especially when both of them are doing
>> mostly the same set up, which can be simply generalized to cover all the
>> cases.
>> Instead of adding just another level of artificially fine grained compatible
>> strings, I'd rather suggest merging both board files together and adding a
>> single compatible string identifying all SoCs that can be further
>> differentiated by using hardware chip ID register.
>> What do you think?
> I agree with your idea of merging both the files as there is very little that is
> different for now. However I am not really sure if having a single compatible
> string for all SoCs would be good. What is achieved through compatible string
> can very well be done using chip ID too. But wouldn't we need to maintain some
> unique identity for the SoCs in human readable form at the DT level?

Well, my understanding of Device Tree is that it should provide the 
information that can't be automatically retrieved from the hardware, not 

If you have a PCI or USB bus with enumerable devices, you don't list 
them in DT, but instead limit the description to just the host 
controller, if it can't be enumerated.

Same goes for compatible string. My interpretation of it is that if you 
can identify the hardware by some automatic means, e.g. querying some ID 
register, then the compatible should be specific enough to identify the 
class of devices with the same method of querying such register, with no 
need for any additional redundant data in DT.

Of course nothing stops you from retaining more specific compatible 
strings. In fact, this is probably the most appropriate solution, 
because in future you might find out that certain SoCs need some special 
differentiation, e.g. same ID value on two SoCs.

So, to apply this to our case, our Exynos 5250 based Arndale board would 
be changed from

compatible = "insignal,arndale", "samsung,exynos5260";


compatible = "insignal,arndale", "samsung,exynos5260", "samsung,exynos";

Now, the board file will be able to match simply by "samsung,exynos" 
compatible string and SoC-specific code in mach-exynos (hopefully none 
after it gets cleaned up fully) will use soc_is_exynos*() macros (what 
AFAIK it is already doing at the moment).

Another benefit of this would be increased safety, because you are 
reading SoC type from actual hardware, not from externally supplied 
data. In conjunction with the more specific compatible string (e.g. 
"samsung,exynos5260") some validation could be performed at boot-up time 
to make sure that DT for correct SoC is used.

> In the absence
> of any other opinion, can probably experiment with this and see how it
> takes shape.
>> P.S. Please always keep respective subsystem/arch level MLs on CC list, in
>> this case linux-arm-kernel. The linux-samsung-soc ML is just a convenience
>> tool to group all threads about Samsung SoCs, not a way to bypass respective
>> subsystem MLs.
> Nothing to disagree. A valid point at large, but for every trivial or
> exynos specific
> change, including top level MLs would probably amount to spamming :)

I agree that for simple discussion threads samsung-soc list alone might 
be sufficient, but any patches should be subject to broader review, not 
limited to Samsung people.

Best regards,

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