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

Will Deacon will.deacon at arm.com
Mon Mar 23 04:14:28 PDT 2015

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 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.


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