Re: [PATCH v2 0/5] arm64: advertise availability of CRC and cryptoinstructions
From: Nicolas Pitre
Date: Mon Jan 20 2014 - 14:42:43 EST
On Mon, 20 Jan 2014, Ard Biesheuvel wrote:
> On 20 January 2014 19:55, Nicolas Pitre <nicolas.pitre@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> > On Mon, 20 Jan 2014, Ard Biesheuvel wrote:
> >> On 20 January 2014 19:17, Nicolas Pitre <nicolas.pitre@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> >> > On Mon, 20 Jan 2014, Ard Biesheuvel wrote:
> >> >> Calling getauxval(AT_HWCAP) on an outdated libc.so will give you the
> >> >> whole value, not just the bits whose meaning was known to glibc at the
> >> >> time.
> >> >> So if desired, a program can interpret AT_HWCAP itself.
> >> >>
> >> >> AT_HWCAP2 is completely new, so you won't be able to retrieve it using
> >> >> getauxval() on an older libc.
> >> >
> >> > I agree. And I don't dispute the bit placement choice either.
> >> >
> >> > Still, an old glibc calling getauxval(AT_HWCAP) should already be
> >> > prepared to receive and rightfully ignore those bits it didn't know the
> >> > meaning of at the time. So "preserving some future extensions in HWCAP
> >> > for older glibc" as a justification makes little sense to me... unless
> >> > I'm missing something?
> >> >
> >> > Even if applications interpret those bits themselves, supposing they
> >> > still need to be linked against an old glibc, then why would
> >> > yet-to-be-defined future extensions be more important to be signaled
> >> > using the lower 32 bits than the extensions you propose? That is what I
> >> > don't get.
> >> >
> >> In the general case, you are quite right.
> >> In this particular case, the extensions for which I am adding the
> >> feature bits are not supported on any hardware currently known or
> >> supported by the ARM port. At this time, the only known CPUs
> >> supporting these extensions are ARMv8 CPUs executing in 32-bit
> >> compatibility mode (i.e., ARMv8 defines instructions for the 32-bit
> >> execution state using previously unallocated opcodes)
> > So?
> >> So the only reason (currently) for adding these feature bits to the
> >> ARM port is to align with the ARMv8 32-bit compat mode so that a
> >> 32-bit userland requires no knowledge about whether its 32-bit
> >> execution environment is hosted by an ARM or an arm64 kernel. In the
> >> future, ARMv8 32-bit only CPUs may well turn up that support these
> >> extensions as well.
> > I agree with all you've said so far. But that doesn't answer my
> > question.
> > And my unanswered question isn't that important either.
> Quoting Russell:
> On 18 December 2013 12:42, Russell King - ARM Linux
> <linux@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> > The point is that they'll never appear on an ARMv7 implementation because
> > they're not part of the ARMv7 architecture. I see no point in needlessly
> > polluting ARM32 with ARM64 stuff - in exactly the same way that you see
> > no point in polluting ARM64 with ARM32 stuff.
> > So, frankly, find a different way to this. We don't need to needlessly
> > waste HWCAP bits on ARM32.
> So my idea was to use HWCAP2 bits instead ...
The introduction of HWCAP2 on ARM32 could be seen as ARM64 pollution
just as well.
But someone connected with ARM Ltd said that 32-bit-only ARMv8
implementations are likely to show up. Therefore Russell's argument
can't hold as ARM32 support won't stop with ARMv7.
Still, Russell also remarked that the bits you added took a significant
portion of the remaining HWCAP bits, which you fixed by adding HWCAP2 to
So far so good.
You also decided to put the new crypto bits into HWCAP2. I have no
actual objection with that either.
What makes me wonder is Catalin's affirmation about putting those new
bits into HWCAP2 making future extensions possible with old glibc
versions that don't have knowledge about HWCAP2. That is what I don't
get the pertinence of.
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