[PATCH] serial: 8250: use initializer instead of memset to clear local struct

Russell King - ARM Linux linux at armlinux.org.uk
Mon Jan 2 05:27:20 PST 2017

On Fri, Dec 23, 2016 at 08:20:26AM +0100, Greg Kroah-Hartman wrote:
> On Fri, Dec 23, 2016 at 12:21:48PM +0900, Masahiro Yamada wrote:
> > Leave the way of zero-out to the compiler's decision; the compiler
> > may know a more optimized way than calling memset().
> But no, it doesn't, it will leave "blank" areas in the structure with
> bad data in it, which is why we do memset.  See the tree-wide fixups we
> made about a year ago for this very issue.  Are you sure none of these
> structures get copied to userspace?
> > It may end up with memset() for big structures like this after all,
> > but the code will be cleaner at least.
> Please leave it as-is, unless you see a measured speedup.

We can probably have both... we have an "optimisation" in ARM for
zero-based memset()s which was beneficial with older compilers, but
I suspect GCC 4 does a much better job itself of optimising
memset().  arch/arm/include/asm/string.h:

#define memset(p,v,n)                                                   \
        ({                                                              \
                void *__p = (p); size_t __n = n;                        \
                if ((__n) != 0) {                                       \
                        if (__builtin_constant_p((v)) && (v) == 0)      \
                                __memzero((__p),(__n));                 \
                        else                                            \
                                memset((__p),(v),(__n));                \
                }                                                       \
                (__p);                                                  \

I suspect we should get rid of that with GCC >= 4.

I also suspect that it'll make no difference for uart_8250_port, as
it's rather large, but for smaller structures (eg, up to a cache line)
GCC can probably optimise to inline initialisation.

So, probably something for resulting code and performance analysis...

It's worth noting that 32-bit x86 always uses __builtin_memset() for
memset() on GCC >= 4, so GCC's memset() optimisations must be safe for
structures copied to userspace, or if not, 32-bit x86 is probably
rather buggy.

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