[RFC PATCH 1/1] drivers: introduce ARM SBSA generic UART driver

Arnd Bergmann arnd at arndb.de
Tue Sep 2 12:51:58 PDT 2014

On Saturday 30 August 2014 00:10:39 Andre Przywara wrote:
> On 08/29/2014 07:59 PM, Arnd Bergmann wrote:
> > On Friday 29 August 2014 17:13:23 Andre Przywara wrote:
> >> The ARM Server Base System Architecture (SBSA) describes a generic
> >> UART which all compliant level 1 systems should implement. This is
> >> actually a PL011 subset, so a full PL011 implementation will satisfy
> >> this requirement.
> >> However if a system does not have a PL011, a very stripped down
> >> implementation complying to the SBSA defined specification will
> >> suffice. The Linux PL011 driver is not guaranteed to drive this
> >> limited device (and indeed the fast model implentation hangs the
> >> kernel if driven by the PL011 driver).
> >> So introduce a new driver just implementing the part specified by the
> >> SBSA (which lacks DMA, the modem control signals and many of the
> >> registers including baud rate control). This driver has been derived
> >> by the actual PL011 one, removing all unnecessary code.
> >>
> >> Signed-off-by: Andre Przywara <andre.przywara at arm.com>
> > 
> > 
> > Hi Andre,
> > 
> > Thanks for getting this driver ready. There is one high-level comment
> > I have: As mentioned in the discussion in
> > https://lkml.org/lkml/2014/7/28/386 , I think this should really be
> > a tty driver using tty_port, not a serial driver using uart_port.
> > 
> > What is the reason you chose to do a uart_port driver?
> Mainly because the SBSA is more of an UART than I originally
> anticipated. It's intention may be more for debugging only, but it's
> implementation is that of a real UART.
> So the goldfish driver for instance seems to be tailored for a virtual
> device, where TX/RX actually does not cost much. Also it supports
> transmitting large chunks of data at once, an UART cannot do that. I
> didn't find an obvious or easy way of implementing IRQ based
> transmission. So if someone throws 10 KB at the driver, it will hog the
> CPU for a second :-(

I think the driver is supposed to just return '0' from its tty->write
function when there is no room for more data, and then call
tty_wakeup() from the interrupt handler once some buffer space has
been freed up.

Note that this is actually much simpler to do than the circ_buf
handling in uart_port.

> Also there is this console line ending issue. The UART layer takes care
> about changing LF into CR/LF, but in a pure TTY driver this needs to be
> done explicitly. Hooking this into the code was a real nightmare.

It should not do that. Did you forget to set tty_std_termios?

> Also the error conditions the UART supports (frame error, break) are
> hard to model in a pure TTY driver.

The register subset doesn't even support flow control, so what's the
point in trying to support get_icount?

> So after having coded it based on goldfish I decided to go for a real
> UART driver instead, and the result is much better.

> > A few more details below:
> > 
> >> +}
> >> +EARLYCON_DECLARE(pl011, sbsa_uart_early_console_setup);
> >> +OF_EARLYCON_DECLARE(pl011, "arm,sbsa-uart", sbsa_uart_early_console_setup);
> > 
> > Stray 'pl011' left from copying the code?
> Actually left in deliberately (to reuse existing kernel command lines),
> but I know see that this was silly.
> The earlycon routines of PL011 are actually the same as for the SBSA
> UART, so both can use one implementation. And registering them twice
> under the same name triggers a warning during boot.
> I have to check how this can be shared if only one driver is compiled in.
> >> +static struct uart_driver sbsa_uart_reg = {
> >> +	.owner			= THIS_MODULE,
> >> +	.driver_name		= "sbsa_uart",
> >> +	.dev_name		= "ttyAMA",
> >> +	.nr			= UART_NR,
> >> +	.cons			= SBSA_UART_CONSOLE,
> >> +};
> > 
> > I don't think we should overload the ttyAMA name.
> That triggered a lot of discussion here. Actually most people don't want
> to introduce yet another serial prefix. Also since the both devices are
> so similar and this driver can drive a full PL011 also, I decided to
> reuse it.
> This still has issues if both drivers are active, but I consider this
> saner for the user this way.

I'm not convinced. It sounds absolutely possible that someone makes a
system that needs both drivers simultaneously, sbsa_uart for the console
(with the settings in place from the boot loader and no registers to
change them) and a proper uart for talking to other devices. If the
earlycon line or the device names are conflicting, you get into

> >> +#ifdef CONFIG_OF
> >> +
> >> +static int dt_probe_serial_alias(int index, struct device *dev)
> >> +{
> >> +	struct device_node *np;
> >> +	static bool seen_dev_with_alias;
> >> +	static bool seen_dev_without_alias;
> >> +	int ret = index;
> >> +
> >> +	if (!IS_ENABLED(CONFIG_OF))
> >> +		return ret;
> > 
> > The #ifdef should go away since you already have the if
> > (!IS_ENABLED(CONFIG_OF)) logic here.
> Right, this is redundant, but I'd rather remove the IS_ENABLED() line,
> since I provide a non-DT implementation of that routine below.

That would mean you don't get any build-time coverage if CONFIG_OF
is disabled. Please just remove all the #ifdefs you can so that the
compiler gets to see the code and discard all unused parts of it.


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