Re: [RFC PATCH 0/3] iommu: Add range flush operation

From: Robin Murphy
Date: Tue Sep 29 2015 - 13:13:31 EST

On 29/09/15 17:40, Russell King - ARM Linux wrote:
On Tue, Sep 29, 2015 at 05:27:12PM +0100, Robin Murphy wrote:
Eh, swings and roundabouts. An argument denoting whether the flush is being
called on the map or unmap path would be fine,

Sorry, that statement is wrong. It's not about whether you flush before
or after the DMA operation. I'm afraid I'm probably going to tell you
how to suck eggs here, because I don't think you quite "get it" with
non-dma-coherent modern CPUs.

Modern CPUs prefetch data into their caches, and they also randomly write
back data from their caches to memory. When performing a DMA operation
from device to memory, you need to do two things with CPU caches which
aren't coherent:

1. Before starting the DMA operation, you need to walk over the memory to
be mapped, ensuring that any dirty cache lines are written back. This
is to prevent dirty cache lines overwriting data that has already been
DMA'd from the device.

2. After the DMA operation has completed, you need to walk over the
memory again, invalidating any cache lines which may have been
speculatively loaded from that memory while DMA was running. These
cache lines may have been loaded prior to the DMA operation placing
the new data into memory.

So, it's not a before-or-after, you have to always perform write-back
cache maintanence prior to any DMA operation, and then invalidate cache
maintanence after the DMA operation has completed for any mapping which
the DMA may have written to (which means device-to-memory and
bidirectional mappings.)

Yup, I'm well aware of all that; in fact you and I have already agreed elsewhere that we can only really get away with using the streaming DMA API to flush IOMMU page table updates _because_ they aren't written back to, thus data only ever goes from CPU->IOMMU and we can skip the problem of where to put an invalidation; you wrote the tegra-smmu code that does this. The coherency of whatever device which made a DMA API call for which the IOMMU API is creating/removing a mapping is irrelevant at this point - this is the DMA operation within the DMA operation.

None of which has anything to do with the point I raised, which is that if iommu_unmap() calls iommu_flush(), I want to issue TLB invalidations, but if iommu_map() calls iommu_flush(), I don't.

To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-kernel" in
the body of a message to majordomo@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
More majordomo info at
Please read the FAQ at