Re: [PATCH v2 00/17] net: introduce Qualcomm IPA driver
From: Dan Williams
Date: Mon Jun 03 2019 - 10:58:20 EST
On Fri, 2019-05-31 at 15:47 -0500, Alex Elder wrote:
> On 5/31/19 2:19 PM, Arnd Bergmann wrote:
> > On Fri, May 31, 2019 at 6:36 PM Alex Elder <elder@xxxxxxxxxx>
> > wrote:
> > > On 5/31/19 9:58 AM, Dan Williams wrote:
> > > > On Thu, 2019-05-30 at 22:53 -0500, Alex Elder wrote:
> > > >
> > > > My question from the Nov 2018 IPA rmnet driver still stands;
> > > > how does
> > > > this relate to net/ethernet/qualcomm/rmnet/ if at all? And if
> > > > this is
> > > > really just a netdev talking to the IPA itself and unrelated to
> > > > net/ethernet/qualcomm/rmnet, let's call it "ipa%d" and stop
> > > > cargo-
> > > > culting rmnet around just because it happens to be a net driver
> > > > for a
> > > > QC SoC.
> > >
> > > First, the relationship between the IPA driver and the rmnet
> > > driver
> > > is that the IPA driver is assumed to sit between the rmnet driver
> > > and the hardware.
> > Does this mean that IPA can only be used to back rmnet, and rmnet
> > can only be used on top of IPA, or can or both of them be combined
> > with another driver to talk to instead?
> No it does not mean that.
> As I understand it, one reason for the rmnet layer was to abstract
> the back end, which would allow using a modem, or using something
> else (a LAN?), without exposing certain details of the hardware.
> (Perhaps to support multiplexing, etc. without duplicating that
> logic in two "back-end" drivers?)
> To be perfectly honest, at first I thought having IPA use rmnet
> was a cargo cult thing like Dan suggested, because I didn't see
To be clear I only meant cargo-culting the naming, not any
functionality. Clearly IPA/rmnet/QMAP are pretty intimately connected
at this point. But this goes back to whether IPA needs a netdev itself
or whether you need an rmnet device created on top. If the former then
I'd say no cargo-culting, if the later then it's a moot point because
the device name will be rmnet%d anyway.
> the benefit. I now see why one would use that pass-through layer
> to handle the QMAP features.
> But back to your question. The other thing is that I see no
> reason the IPA couldn't present a "normal" (non QMAP) interface
> for a modem. It's something I'd really like to be able to do,
> but I can't do it without having the modem firmware change its
> configuration for these endpoints. My access to the people who
> implement the modem firmware has been very limited (something
> I hope to improve), and unless and until I can get corresponding
> changes on the modem side to implement connections that don't
> use QMAP, I can't implement such a thing.
> > > Currently the modem is assumed to use QMAP protocol. This means
> > > each packet is prefixed by a (struct rmnet_map_header) structure
> > > that allows the IPA connection to be multiplexed for several
> > > logical
> > > connections. The rmnet driver parses such messages and
> > > implements
> > > the multiplexed network interfaces.
> > >
> > > QMAP protocol can also be used for aggregating many small packets
> > > into a larger message. The rmnet driver implements de-
> > > aggregation
> > > of such messages (and could probably aggregate them for TX as
> > > well).
> > >
> > > Finally, the IPA can support checksum offload, and the rmnet
> > > driver handles providing a prepended header (for TX) and
> > > interpreting the appended trailer (for RX) if these features
> > > are enabled.
> > >
> > > So basically, the purpose of the rmnet driver is to handle QMAP
> > > protocol connections, and right now that's what the modem
> > > provides.
> > Do you have any idea why this particular design was picked?
> I don't really. I inherited it. Early on, when I asked about
> the need for QMAP I was told it was important because it offered
> certain features, but at that time I was somewhat new to the code
> and didn't have the insight to judge the merits of the design.
> Since then I've mostly just accepted it and concentrated on
> improving the IPA driver.
> > My best guess is that it evolved organically with multiple
> > generations of hardware and software, rather than being thought
> > out as a nice abstraction layer. If the two are tightly connected,
> > this might mean that what we actually want here is to reintegrate
> > the two components into a single driver with a much simpler
> > RX and TX path that handles the checksumming and aggregation
> > of data packets directly as it passes them from the network
> > stack into the hardware.
> In general, I agree. And Dan suggested combining the rmnet
> and IPA drivers into a single driver when I posted the RFC
> code last year. There's still the notion of switching back
> ends that I mentioned earlier; if that's indeed an important
> feature it might argue for keeping rmnet as a shim layer.
> But I'm really not the person to comment on this. Someone
> (Subash?) from Qualcomm might be able to provide better answers.
> > Always passing data from one netdev to another both ways
> > sounds like it introduces both direct CPU overhead, and
> > problems with flow control when data gets buffered inbetween.
> My impression is the rmnet driver is a pretty thin layer,
> so the CPU overhead is probably not that great (though
> deaggregating a message is expensive). I agree with you
> on the flow control.
> > The intermediate buffer here acts like a router that must
> > pass data along or randomly drop packets when the consumer
> > can't keep up with the producer.
> I haven't reviewed the rmnet code in any detail, but you
> may be right.
> > Arnd