[PATCH 2/5] ARM: Add Broadcom Brahma-B15 readahead cache support

Florian Fainelli fainelli at broadcom.com
Mon Jul 27 11:47:09 PDT 2015

On 23/03/15 04:14, Will Deacon wrote:
> On Tue, Mar 17, 2015 at 06:02:22PM +0000, Florian Fainelli wrote:
>> On 17/03/15 10:29, Will Deacon wrote:
>>> On Sat, Mar 07, 2015 at 12:54:50AM +0000, Florian Fainelli wrote:
>>>> This patch adds support for the Broadcom Brahma-B15 CPU readahead cache
>>>> controller. This cache controller sits between the L2 and the memory bus
>>>> and its purpose is to provide a friendler burst size towards the DDR
>>>> interface than the native cache line size.
>>>> The readahead cache is mostly transparent, except for
>>>> flush_kern_cache_all, flush_kern_cache_louis and flush_icache_all, which
>>>> is precisely what we are overriding here.
>>> I'm struggling to understand why you care about flush_kern_cache_louis
>>> and flush_icache_all for a cache that sits the other side of the L2.
>>> Can you explain why we need to do anything in these cases, please?
>> Let's try, as you may have read in the comment, all MVA-based cache
>> maintenance operations are snooped by the RAC, so they are effectively
>> "transparent" to software, all others are not.
>> flush_kern_cache_louis() and flush_icache_all() both use ICALLIUS in the
>> SMP case and ICIALLU in the UP case which were flagged as not being
>> transparently handled.
>> The concern is that, if you perform a L1 cache (data or instruction)
>> flush (essentially an invalidate), this will also flush (invalidate)
>> corresponding L2 cache lines, but the RAC has no way to be signaled that
>> is should also invalidate its own RAC cache lines pertaining to that
>> data, and RAC holds per-CPU "super" cache lines.
>> In arch/arm/kernel/smp.c, all uses of flush_cache_louis() are for
>> writing-back data, so the RAC is not an issue. In
>> arch/arm/kernel/suspend.c, flush_cache_louis() is known not to guarantee
>> a "clean" all the way to main memory, so __cpu_flush_dcache_area is used
>> in conjunction. In arch/arm/mm/idmap.c and mmu.c, the use of
>> flush_cache_louis() seems to be meant to see fresh data, not write-back,
>> so not transparent to the RAC, is that right?
>> It may very well be that we are super cautious here and that the only
>> case to take care of is essentially flush_cache_all(), and nothing more.
>> Would you suggestions on how to instrument/exercise whether we really
>> need to deal with flush_cache_louis() and flush_icache_all()?
> I think that both flush_cache_louis and flush_icache_all only care about
> the inner-shareable domain, so you don't need to do anything with the
> RAC. It's a bit like the PL310 outer-cache, which is also not affected
> by these operations.

I see, will keep experimenting with removing these two and see if
anything breaks.

> I don't think there's a good way to determine statically if we have
> missing cacheflush calls. Maybe a better bet would be to implement a
> RAC driver using the outer_cache framework and only implement the
> flush_all callback.

Last I tried this, the performance became absolutely terrible for e.g:
networking which involves doing frequent invalidation + write-back due
to DMA operations. Also, it did not seem to me like it was possible to
get an information about the DMA transfer direction (at least not at
this level) which could help speed the write-back case since there
nothing to do in that case (unlike in the PL310 case).

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