[RFC PATCHv1 0/7] ARM core support for hardware I/O coherency in non-SMP platforms

Catalin Marinas catalin.marinas at arm.com
Mon May 19 08:19:38 PDT 2014

On Mon, May 19, 2014 at 12:17:57PM +0100, Thomas Petazzoni wrote:
> On Mon, 19 May 2014 11:42:19 +0100, Catalin Marinas wrote:
> > > I have no problem about the bootloader doing some initialization, so if
> > > that's a requirement for arm64, no problem. But it should be a
> > > requirement regardless of the kernel configuration: in the current
> > > kernel, some initialization is done when CONFIG_SMP is enabled. And now
> > > that the same initialization is needed in !CONFIG_SMP, I'm asked to do
> > > it in the bootloader. That's the thing I don't buy.
> > 
> > And that's a hard thing for me to sell for arm32 ;) because of the
> > current code already doing this.
> > 
> > One of the issues is secure vs non-secure kernel deployment and
> > secure-only registers like ACTLR (and even SCU). I've seen SoCs for
> > which the mainline kernel assumes secure mode but it's deployed as
> > non-secure in the field with out of tree modifications to make it work.
> > I would rather have a single kernel image for both cases.
> As things are today, I believe the Armada 370/XP/375/38x are always
> booted in secure mode. Couldn't the kernel detect if it's running
> secure or non-secure. If it's running secure, it can do all the ACTLR
> configuration (and other things that require being in secure mode). If
> it's running non-secure, then it doesn't do this configuration, and
> assumes the firmware/bootloader did it.

Unfortunately there is no easy way to detect secure vs non-secure at
boot time. What we have for other platforms is a check for whether the
corresponding ACTLR bit is set and if yes, we avoid writing the
register (which would undef).

> > > > > Unfortunately, __create_page_tables is called so early that I don't
> > > > > know if it's possible to access 'struct machine_desc' at this point to
> > > > > know whether the platform needs shareable pages or not.
> > > > > 
> > > > > Also, don't we have the same problem with the TTB_FLAGS_{SMP,UP) ?
> > > > 
> > > > I don't think we do because we use the ALT_{SMP,UP} for TTB settings and
> > > > we have the smp-on-up fixup running before __v7_setup.
> > > 
> > > Ok. For Armada 370, I don't need shareable pages. For Armada 380, I
> > > need shareable pages, but even if the processor is single core, I
> > > believe it pretends to be SMP in MPIDR.
> > 
> > You'd need to check this.
> I got the confirmation. *But* this is only going to affect CONFIG_SMP
> builds. Armada 380 being single core, we want I/O coherency to work on
> it in !CONFIG_SMP configurations. And in !CONFIG_SMP configuration,
> it's always ALT_UP() that is used, regardless of what MPIDR says. And
> therefore the TTB_FLAGS_UP will be used.

Good point. In this case you could have a coherency problem as the page
table walks are not shareable. In practice, it's only one CPU that
writes/reads the page tables I think it should be OK.

The other case is non-shareable cacheable access with the original
page table and later switched to shareable. I don't think the cache
lines would be tagged with a shareable attribute but it's worth asking
the hw people (but you are really into microarchitecture details).

According to the ARM ARM (A3.5.7) you shouldn't have different agents
accessing the same location with different shareability attributes (page
table walker is such agent):

  If the mismatched attributes for a location mean that multiple
  cacheable accesses to the location might be made with different
  shareability attributes, then coherency is guaranteed only if each
  thread of execution that accesses the location with a cacheable
  attribute performs a clean and invalidate of the location.

> > > > I'm always for the former (and that's the case for arm64), though for
> > > > some older boards it's too late to change.
> > > 
> > > Indeed. So how do we move forward?
> > 
> > As I said previously, it's not my call, just a recommendation. It's up
> > to the arm/arm-soc maintainers to take this. Give the arm32 SMP
> > initialisation precedent, forcing it for an existing platform is a
> > harder sell.
> Ok. So I should keep going with the approach proposed in my patch
> series, obviously after fixing the various other comments that were
> posted?

I assume it's business as usual unless you hear otherwise from rmk or
arm-soc ;).


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