[linux-sunxi] Re: [PATCH] ARM: dts: sun4i: Add dts file for the pov protab2-ips9 tablet

Maxime Ripard maxime.ripard at free-electrons.com
Mon Oct 19 12:43:13 PDT 2015

On Tue, Sep 22, 2015 at 05:24:37PM +0200, Hans de Goede wrote:
> Hi,
> On 22-09-15 17:02, Maxime Ripard wrote:
> >On Sun, Sep 13, 2015 at 07:33:36PM +0200, Hans de Goede wrote:
> >>>Anyway. In both cases, the regulator really shouldn't be drifting
> >>>along like this.
> >>
> >>Right which is why I've added the always-on property.
> >
> >Which is exactly what I meant by drifting along: that regulator will
> >never be associated to the i2c bus, and will always be enabled even
> >though the i2c bus might not even be accessible in the first place
> >(driver not selected, compiled as a module and not loaded yet), which
> >is just as bad.
> >
> >>>If the i2c bus needs a regulator to be operationaly,
> >>>then we can just add an optional bus-supply property or something to
> >>>give that to the i2c driver so that it can enable it when needed.
> >>
> >>I agree that that would be sensible if this regulator were tied to
> >>the pull-ups, but I've my doubts that it is. We've not seen anything
> >>similar on any other allwinner tablet, other then ChenYu-s Ippo-q8-v5
> >>tablet.
> >>
> >>This tablet is sort of a high-end tablet (with a nice ips screen) and
> >>such it also uses a different (better) sensor for its frontcam, a
> >>gc2015 rather then the usual gc0308. I believe that this is the
> >>culprit.
> >>
> >>Which would make modelling this as some sort of i2c-bus power-supply
> >>wrong, and I've checked and none of the existing i2c bindings under
> >>Documentation/devicetree/bindings/i2c contain such a thing, so we
> >>would be the first and we will likely have a hard time selling a
> >>binding for this upstream, esp. since we do not know what exactly
> >>is going on.
> >
> >Well, strictly speaking, it is a supply needed to get the bus to
> >work. We should really try to avoid having always-on for regulators,
> >especially for devices that are already represented in the DT.
> >
> >>So all in all I strongly believe that just setting always-on
> >>on the regulator in question is the best solution.
> >
> >It's a hack we can avoid.
> How? By adding a regulator property to the i2c controller node
> and then have the i2c controller driver enable this on probe ?


> This will make 0 difference in practice since any useful kernel
> config will always include the i2c controller as that is necessary
> to talk to the pmic which controls this regulator in the first place.

It's a choice we don't enforce. We had the option to run the kernel
without a PMIC for a long time, and it's still an option. Not the best
one, but an option.

And there's also the case where the user doesn't want to load or wants
to unload the module. It's also a valid case.

> Having some sort of regulator property in the i2c-controller node
> might be something worthwhile adding if we knew for sure that that
> is how things are wired up, but we simply do not know.

We have something called the device model, and we built most
frameworks around it. Your patch simply circumvents it, and while we
have a nice way to tie a resource to a device, you're not using it at

This has the nasty side effect of not being able to control your
resources, for example to shutdown the regulator when the bus is no
longer in use. I remember having kind of the same argument with
simplefb, but with you on the opposite side of the argument :)

It also avoids debugging things properly, since the regulator isn't
linked to the device actually using it.

> I'm not going to submit a patch to the i2c bindings to add a
> regulator if I cannot explain exactly during review why it is
> needed.

And I'm not going to pull something like that. Sorry.

> The way I see it this board has some kinda bug making that bus
> not work when the regulator in question is disabled, but we do
> not exactly why, so we workaround the bug by not disabling the
> regulator -> always-on.

Yes. As long as the bus is in use.


Maxime Ripard, Free Electrons
Embedded Linux, Kernel and Android engineering
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