[PATCH] i2c: at91: fix write transfers by clearing pending interrupt first

Ludovic Desroches ludovic.desroches at atmel.com
Tue Oct 13 22:43:21 PDT 2015

On Tue, Oct 13, 2015 at 08:01:34PM +0200, Peter Rosin wrote:
> On 2015-10-13 18:47, Cyrille Pitchen wrote:
> > Le 13/10/2015 17:19, Peter Rosin a écrit :
> >> On 2015-10-13 16:21, Ludovic Desroches wrote:
> >>> From: Cyrille Pitchen <cyrille.pitchen at atmel.com>
> >>>
> >>> In some cases a NACK interrupt may be pending in the Status Register (SR)
> >>> as a result of a previous transfer. However at91_do_twi_transfer() did not
> >>> read the SR to clear pending interruptions before starting a new transfer.
> >>> Hence a NACK interrupt rose as soon as it was enabled again at the I2C
> >>> controller level, resulting in a wrong sequence of operations and strange
> >>> patterns of behaviour on the I2C bus, such as a clock stretch followed by
> >>> a restart of the transfer.
> >>>
> >>> This first issue occurred with both DMA and PIO write transfers.
> >>>
> >>> Also when a NACK error was detected during a PIO write transfer, the
> >>> interrupt handler used to wrongly start a new transfer by writing into the
> >>> Transmit Holding Register (THR). Then the I2C slave was likely to reply
> >>> with a second NACK.
> >>>
> >>> This second issue is fixed in atmel_twi_interrupt() by handling the TXRDY
> >>> status bit only if both the TXCOMP and NACK status bits are cleared.
> >>>
> >>> Tested with a at24 eeprom on sama5d36ek board running a linux-4.1-at91
> >>> kernel image. Adapted to linux-next.
> >>>
> >>> Signed-off-by: Cyrille Pitchen <cyrille.pitchen at atmel.com>
> >>> Fixes: 93563a6a71bb ("i2c: at91: fix a race condition when using the DMA controller")
> >>> Reported-by: Peter Rosin <peda at lysator.liu.se>
> >>> Signed-off-by: Ludovic Desroches <ludovic.desroches at atmel.com>
> >>> Cc: stable at vger.kernel.org #4.1
> >>
> >> The regression is gone with this patch (vanilla 4.2), thank you!
> >>
> >> However, looking at the bus, there are two NACKs after each
> >> successful chunk of memory written by the eeprom driver.
> >>
> >> Looking at the eeprom driver, I expect this on the bus:
> >>
> >> S 0x50 0x00 "hello there guys" P
> >> S 0x50 NACK P
> >> delay for at least 1 ms (since the eeprom driver has a msleep(1) call).
> >> S 0x50 NACK P
> >> delay for at least 1 ms
> >> ...
> >> ...
> >> S 0x50 NACK P
> >> delay for at least 1 ms
> >> S 0x50 0x10 "and girls\n" P
> >>
> >> This is not what I observe on the bus, most of the time there is a
> >> second NACK immediately following the first. I suspect that it is
> >> the i2c bus driver that somehow confuses itself and reissues the
> >> command for some reason?
> >>
> >> But this behavior has been there since the beginning, so it's probably
> >> orthogonal, and killing the data corrupting regression is much more
> >> important to me than fussing over a surplus failed transfer. Hence
> >>
> >> Tested-by: Peter Rosin <peda at lysator.liu.se>
> >>
> >> Cheers,
> >> Peter
> >>
> > 
> > Hi Peter,
> > 
> > sama5d3x and sama5d4x don't support the so called "Alternative Command mode"
> > whereas sama5d2x do. The Alternative Command mode comes with a new hardware
> > mechanism inside the I2C controller which locks the transmission of data on
> > the I2C bus when a NACK is detected. It means that even if a data is written
> > into the THR, the I2C controller doesn't push this data on the I2C bus but
> > retains the data in the THR (and its associated FIFO for sama5d2x and future
> > SoCs) until the driver unlocks the transmitter by writing the LOCKCLR (Lock
> > Clear) bit in the Control Register. Then and only then, the transmitter outputs
> > pending data again.
> > This new mechanism was introduced to cope with an unwanted DMA write into the
> > THR after a NACK. Indeed, as I've tried to explain in my patch, when a first
> > NACK is detected, the I2C controller sets the TXCOMP, NACK and TXRDY bits
> > alltogether in the Status Register. However setting the TXRDY bit also triggers
> > the DMA controller to write the next data into the THR. Pitifully, WITHOUT the
> > new lock mechanism, writing into the THR starts a new I2C frame. Since the
> > eeprom is likely not to be ready yet, it replies by a second NACK. So you
> > see on the scope two consecutive NACKs.
> > 
> > On sama5d3x and sama5d4x, which do not support this lock mechanism, you are
> > likely to see a successful write transfer followed by two NACKs then a delay
> > and finally a new successful write transfer. This is the case 2b:
> > 
> > 1 - A successfull write transfer is completed.
> > 2 - The at24 driver immediately tries to perform the next write transfer...
> > 3 - ... but the eeprom is not ready yet and replies with a first NACK.
> > 4 - The I2C controller detects this NACK and sets the NACK, TXCOMP and TXRDY
> >     bits in its Status Register (and interrupts the CPU).
> > 5 - The DMA controller is triggered by the TXRDY bit to write the next data
> >     into the THR.
> > 6 - WITHTOUT the lock mechanism, the I2C controller starts a new frame because
> >    of the write into the THR by the DMA controller...
> > 7 - ... but the eeprom is still not ready and replies with a second NACK.
> > 
> > 8 - starting from 4, the CPU handles the interrupt generated by the first NACK.
> >     Depending on the timing, it has already masked the interrupted before the
> >     second NACK. In such a case, the NACK bit is pending in the Status
> >     Register. Then it reports the first NACK error to the at24 driver.
> > 9 - The at24 driver handles the NACK error: it sleeps for a while before
> >     retrying to perform the write operation.
> > 10 - With the new patch, the I2C controller reads the Status Register to clear
> >      pending (NACK) interrupts before actually starting this new (retried)
> >      transfer.
> > 
> > 
> > So if you are using DMA transfers on a sama5d3x board, you're are likely to
> > see, as I did see, a valid write transfer followed by 2 NACKs, then a delay and
> > finally a new write transfer.
> > The 2nd NACK is not wanted but expected. Without the lock mechanism, there is
> > nothing we can do at the I2C controller level. However a workaround may exist:
> > inserting a small delay after a successful write transfer should give the
> > eeprom enough time to be ready to process the next write so even the first NACK
> > would disappear.
> > This is what I saw while debugging with dev_info() traces. Those traces had the
> > side effect of inserting delays hence changing the timing.
> > 
> > As you see, we have to deal with some known hardware design quirks, which are
> > fixed by the lock mechanism. Without the lock mechanism, the interrupt handler
> > and the CPU are likely to come too late to cancel the DMA transfer before the
> > DMA controller writes a new byte into the THR, hence generating an unwanted
> > frame.
> Ok, now I get it, I should have been reading the source code comments instead
> of the commit message. My bad. That 2a) case from the atmel_twi_interrupt comment
> seems very nasty indeed! Is it clear what will happen if the second frame after
> the first NACKed frame isn't NACKed too? May that transfer be canceled half way
> through at a later point, or will it be a complete transfer as specified by the
> issuing driver? What will be reported to the issuing driver for such an i2c
> transfer that was first NACKed but then wasn't in the second trailing frame?

We were discussing about this case and we are worried that it simply
hangs the transfer wihout sending a stop command. We never get this case
yet so we keep it in mind but we don't correct it since we are not sure
of the behavior and on side effects it can introduce. I think the
i2c-at91 driver will return a spurious error to the eeprom driver but it won't
let the physical i2c bus in a proper state.

> My guess is that the issuing driver will get the result of the first NACK, and
> that anything after that didn't really happen as far as the rest of the kernel
> is concerned? And while that is OK for my eeprom case, it might not be for any
> other i2c device, where a spurious access might destruct important state such
> as bits that are cleared on read, or something like that. Or am I missing
> something?
> Some warning about using DMA for i2c on sama5d[34]x might be in place if
> I'm correct, no?
> Cheers,
> Peter

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