Re: [PATCHv3 00/14] drivers: mailbox: framework creation

From: Suman Anna
Date: Mon Apr 29 2013 - 11:38:25 EST

Hi Andy,

On 04/26/2013 08:48 PM, Andy Green wrote:
> On 27/04/13 09:04, the mail apparently from Suman Anna included:
> Hi Suman -
>> Even though both the scenarios look very similar, I believe there are
>> some slight differences. All the devices belonging to a controller may
>> not be of the same type (meaning, intended towards the same remote or be
>> used interchangeably with one another). It is definitely possible if you
>> have a similar scenario to the DMA physical channels and your remote
>> rx interrupt can identify the device/channel to process. This would be
>> very much dependent on the architecture of a controller. The particular
>> example that I have in mind is s/w clients between the same set of
>> remote and host entities using the same device - the send part is anyway
>> arbitrated by the controller, and the same received message can be
>> delivered to the clients, with the clients making the decision whether
>> the packet belongs to them or not. I agree that all remote-ends will not
>> be able to cope up intermixed requests, but isn't this again a
>> controller architecture dependent?
> Maybe it's helpful to describe our situation more concretely, because
> the problem is not coming from "the architecture of the [mailbox]
> controller".

Thanks for explaining the usecase. I do think that similar approaches
will become more common (TI AM335 has something similar as well - though
it is related to suspend). The right word should have been "controller
functional integration", I said it as s/w architecture or usage model.
In your case, it is clear that you need time-shared exclusive access,
whereas I am talking about simultaneous-shared usecases.

> In the SoC we work on clock and subsystem power control registers, a
> serial bus, and some other assets are not directly accessible from
> Linux. We must ask a coprocessor to operate these for us, using the
> mailbox.
> So at any one time, the clock driver or voltagedomain driver for the SoC
> may want to own the mailbox and perform one or more operations over it
> synchronously, in some cases on the remote side involving transactions
> on a serial bus. We don't want other transactions to be occurring while
> we wait for the serial bus to complete what the driver who started that
> asked for, for example.
> We can cope with this by having an outer driver mediate access to the
> mailbox. But then there are multiple sync primitives like completions
> and notifiers per operation, because your core already does this.
> In short the FIFO + sync operations approach your core implements
> doesn't fit our use case. That can be our problem, in which case we'll
> live with the outer mediation driver on top of the mailbox, or it can be
> a sign the fixed choice of FIFO + sync operations in your core did not
> quite hit the nail on the head to really model all the facets of legit
> mailbox usage.

I agree that the current code doesn't address this usage. The changes
(should have them ready in the next couple of days) I am working on
actually makes this conditional.

> At least, this real scenario should be interesting to think about before
> rejecting ^^

No, I didn't reject anything, we are dealing with two contrasting
usecases dependent on the functional integration, and we have to find a
middle ground.


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