Re: [patch 2.6.19-rc6] Stop gcc 4.1.0 optimizing wait_hpet_tick away

From: Keith Owens
Date: Tue Nov 28 2006 - 23:30:59 EST

David Miller (on Tue, 28 Nov 2006 20:04:53 -0800 (PST)) wrote:
>From: Keith Owens <kaos@xxxxxxxxxx>
>Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2006 14:56:20 +1100
>> Secondly, I believe that this is a separate problem from bug 22278.
>> hpet_readl() is correctly using volatile internally, but its result is
>> being assigned to a pair of normal integers (not declared as volatile).
>> In the context of wait_hpet_tick, all the variables are unqualified so
>> gcc is allowed to optimize the comparison away.
>> The same problem may exist in other parts of arch/i386/kernel/time_hpet.c,
>> where the return value from hpet_readl() is assigned to a normal
>> variable. Nothing in the C standard says that those unqualified
>> variables should be magically treated as volatile, just because the
>> original code that extracted the value used volatile. IOW, time_hpet.c
>> needs to declare any variables that hold the result of hpet_readl() as
>> being volatile variables.
>I disagree with this.
>readl() returns values from an opaque source, and it is declared
>as such to show this to GCC. It's like a function that GCC
>cannot see the implementation of, which it cannot determine
>anything about wrt. return values.
>The volatile'ness does not simply disappear the moment you
>assign the result to some local variable which is not volatile.
>Half of our drivers would break if this were true.

This is definitely a gcc bug, 4.1.0 is doing something weird. Compile
with CONFIG_CC_OPTIMIZE_FOR_SIZE=n and the bug appears,

Compile with CONFIG_CC_OPTIMIZE_FOR_SIZE=n and _either_ of the patches
below and the problem disappears.

Index: linux/arch/i386/kernel/time_hpet.c
--- linux.orig/arch/i386/kernel/time_hpet.c 2006-11-29 13:51:33.900462088 +1100
+++ linux/arch/i386/kernel/time_hpet.c 2006-11-29 15:25:47.853245938 +1100
@@ -35,7 +35,8 @@ static void __iomem * hpet_virt_address;

int hpet_readl(unsigned long a)
- return readl(hpet_virt_address + a);
+ volatile int v = readl(hpet_virt_address + a);
+ return v;

static void hpet_writel(unsigned long d, unsigned long a)

Index: linux-2.6/arch/i386/kernel/time_hpet.c
--- linux-2.6.orig/arch/i386/kernel/time_hpet.c
+++ linux-2.6/arch/i386/kernel/time_hpet.c
@@ -51,7 +51,7 @@ static void hpet_writel(unsigned long d,
static void __devinit wait_hpet_tick(void)
- unsigned int start_cmp_val, end_cmp_val;
+ unsigned volatile int start_cmp_val, end_cmp_val;

start_cmp_val = hpet_readl(HPET_T0_CMP);
do {

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