[PATCH 05/13] iommu/io-pgtable-arm: Allow appropriate DMA API use

Laurent Pinchart laurent.pinchart at ideasonboard.com
Thu Aug 6 12:10:35 PDT 2015

Hi Will,

On Wednesday 05 August 2015 17:24:52 Will Deacon wrote:
> On Tue, Aug 04, 2015 at 09:54:27PM +0100, Laurent Pinchart wrote:
> > On Tuesday 04 August 2015 15:56:42 Russell King - ARM Linux wrote:
> > > On Tue, Aug 04, 2015 at 03:47:13PM +0100, Robin Murphy wrote:
> > > > On 04/08/15 14:16, Laurent Pinchart wrote:
> > > >> This is what I believe to be an API abuse. The
> > > >> dma_sync_single_for_device()
> > > >> API is meant to pass ownership of a buffer to the device. Unless I'm
> > > >> mistaken, once that's done the CPU isn't allowed to touch the buffer
> > > >> anymore until dma_sync_single_for_cpu() is called to get ownership of
> > > >> the buffer back.
> > > 
> > > That's what I thought up until recently, but it's not strictly true -
> > > see Documentation/DMA-API.txt which Robin quoted.
> > 
> > I find the documentation slightly unclear on this topic. I have nothing
> > against updating it to state that the sync functions ensure visibility of
> > the data to the device or CPU instead of transferring ownership if that's
> > the general understanding of how the API work (or should work). This
> > would of course need to be carefully reviewed to ensure that the current
> > implementation really works that way across all architectures, or at
> > least that it can be made to work that way.
> I was hoping to send this lot off to Joerg tomorrow morning, since it's
> removing a hack from the io-pgtable users before it has chance to spread
> further. This use of the API is certainly ok on arm and arm64 (where
> these drivers currently run) and I don't see why it wouldn't work for
> any IOMMU that treats the page tables as read-only. Once we start getting
> into hardware access/dirty bits, then the streaming-DMA API is a lost
> cause but I would expect those systems to be using SVM with the CPU page
> tables anyway and therefore be cache-coherent.
> I agree that the Documentation isn't brilliant, but that could be addressed
> in a separate patch (especially since I don't think it would be merged
> via the iommu tree).
> Is that alright?

Yes, that's fine with me. The patch set moves usage of the DMA mapping API 
from drivers to a single place in the core, so no problem is introduced. If we 
later consider this to be an API abuse we'll only need to fix it in a single 
place. And if it's a valid use of the API then the documentation 
fix/improvement doesn't need to be synchronous with this patch set.


Laurent Pinchart

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