[PATCH] ARM64: juno: add NOR flash to device tree

Ard Biesheuvel ard.biesheuvel at linaro.org
Mon Oct 19 07:40:41 PDT 2015

On 19 October 2015 at 13:39, Mark Rutland <mark.rutland at arm.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Oct 19, 2015 at 01:19:14PM +0200, Linus Walleij wrote:
>> On Mon, Oct 19, 2015 at 12:29 PM, Mark Rutland <mark.rutland at arm.com> wrote:
>> > Also, for non U-Boot systems I was under the impression that the flash
>> > was effectively owned by EFI (for variable storage),
>> If it is "owned" by something it is owned by the boot monitor, neither
>> by U-Boot or (U)EFI. The boot monitor can flash "images" into
>> the flash using USB or ethernet/TFTP and it is not part of any
>> boot loader, but an autonomous flash image on the board.
>> (Actually it can replace itself.)
>> EFI or U-Boot is one such "image", as is the kernel and the
>> other patch series I've sent (AFSv2 support) makes these
>> "images" visible to the kernel as individual MTD partitions.
> I understand this.
>> This flash image format has nothing to do with UEFI or any other
>> boot loader, it has been around since the RealView platforms,
>> and has basically not changed since. (Well the forst pointer in
>> the image information structure was changed from u32 to u64).
>> My impression is that the boot monitor code is just a continous
>> evolution from reference design to reference design inside ARM.
>> It cares very little about what boot loader happens to be the
>> fashion of the day, it is also used for flashing images of Windows
>> mobile or QNX or whatever people want to run as well.
> I'm on about _runtime_ firmware (UEFI and/or Arm Trusted Firmware), not
> the first stage firmware that's out of the way by the time the OS is
> active.
> As I mentioned, I was under the impression that at least a portion of
> the flash was used by UEFI for variable storage, and that UEFI could
> therefore access the flash at runtime (due to runtime services calls).
> Accessing the flash at the same time as another agent (UEFI or the
> Trusted Firmare) does not seem like a good idea, and is potentially
> unsafe (see Sudeep's example w.r.t. cpuidle).
>> The "images" are very simplistic things designed to support
>> execute-in-place. New images can be added/removed by any
>> compliant software, be it EFI, U-Boot or the kernel. But the
>> format of these images is part of the hardware or rather the boot
>> monitor, nothing else.
> This is technically true. However, my argument is not that this doesn't
> describe the hardware, but rather that this describes a piece of
> hardware which it is not safe to use unless it is known that any runtime
> firmware is not concurrently accessing it.
> Given that there is no mechanism to mediate access to the flash,
> allowing Linux to access it does not seem safe.

I sent some patches around about a year ago that registers UEFI
runtime MMIO regions with /proc/iomem, which should prevent drivers
from attaching to the same physical memory regions. With that in
place, describing it in the DT would not be a problem, and on devices
with multiple NOR flashes of which only one is used at runtime by
UEFI, it would allow Linux to still access the other one.


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