[PATCH 3/3] mailbox: sunxi-msgbox: Add a new mailbox driver

Jassi Brar jassisinghbrar at gmail.com
Wed Feb 28 21:22:42 PST 2018

On Thu, Mar 1, 2018 at 12:26 AM, Samuel Holland <samuel at sholland.org> wrote:
> On 02/28/18 12:14, Jassi Brar wrote:
>> On Wed, Feb 28, 2018 at 11:21 PM, Samuel Holland <samuel at sholland.org> wrote:
>>> Hi,
>>> On 02/28/18 03:16, Jassi Brar wrote:
>>>> On Wed, Feb 28, 2018 at 7:57 AM, Samuel Holland <samuel at sholland.org> wrote:
>>>> ....
>>>>> +/*
>>>>> + * The message box hardware provides 8 unidirectional channels. As the mailbox
>>>>> + * framework expects them to be bidirectional
>>>> That is incorrect. Mailbox framework does not require a channel to be
>>>> TX and RX capable.
>>> Sorry, it would be more accurate to say that the intended mailbox _client_
>>> expects the channels to be bidirectional.
>> Mailbox clients are very mailbox provider specific. Your client driver
>> is unlikely to be reuseable over another controller+remote combo.
>> Your client has to know already what a physical channel can do (RX, TX
>> or RXTX). There is no api to provide that info.
> There's a public specification for SCPI available[1]. I'm writing the remote
> endpoint to follow that protocol specification. (There's even an explicitly
> platform-agnostic update to the protocol called SCMI[2]). Ideally, I should be
> able to reuse the existing Linux client drivers for that protocol.
Thanks, I have already read those specs. Please note there are two
parts of the spec - Chapter-4-Protocol and Chapter-5-Transport.

You should definitely be able to reuse the Protocol implementation.

However, transport can vary with platform - that is why it is
separated out from Protocol. And mailbox is but one instance of
  Consider a platform with "power manager" chip connected via, say,
I2C - one could still make use of SCMI protocol. Or consider another
platform that does have mailbox link to the "power manager" but there
is no shared memory between them - you could then pass packets via the
mailbox FIFOs.
  So no, we can't have common transport implementation for every platform.

> Are you
> suggesting that I need to write a copy of the arm_scpi driver, completely
> identical except that it requests two mailbox channels per client (sending on
> one and receiving on the other) instead of one? In the >1000 line file, this is
> all that I would need to change:
I did unsuccessfully try to convince Sudeep to break the
implementation into platform-agnostic protocol and platform-specific
transport drivers. That way there would be no duplication of code.

Also please realise that you should not be writing controller driver,
keeping just one client driver (SCMI/SCPI) in mind. What if another
platform with same mailbox controller needs 8 TX "broadcast" links?
The h/w supports the usecase, but your driver wouldn't.


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