Re: [PATCH 2/4] of: DT quirks infrastructure

From: Frank Rowand
Date: Thu Feb 19 2015 - 12:31:09 EST

On 2/19/2015 9:00 AM, Pantelis Antoniou wrote:
> Hi Frank,
>> On Feb 19, 2015, at 18:48 , Frank Rowand <frowand.list@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> On 2/19/2015 6:29 AM, Pantelis Antoniou wrote:
>>> Hi Mark,
>>>> On Feb 18, 2015, at 19:31 , Mark Rutland <mark.rutland@xxxxxxx> wrote:
>>>>>>> +While this may in theory work, in practice it is very cumbersome
>>>>>>> +for the following reasons:
>>>>>>> +
>>>>>>> +1. The act of selecting a different boot device tree blob requires
>>>>>>> +a reasonably advanced bootloader with some kind of configuration or
>>>>>>> +scripting capabilities. Sadly this is not the case many times, the
>>>>>>> +bootloader is extremely dumb and can only use a single dt blob.
>>>>>> You can have several bootloader builds, or even a single build with
>>>>>> something like appended DTB to get an appropriate DTB if the same binary
>>>>>> will otherwise work across all variants of a board.
>>>>> No, the same DTB will not work across all the variants of a board.
>>>> I wasn't on about the DTB. I was on about the loader binary, in the case
>>>> the FW/bootloader could be common even if the DTB couldn't.
>>>> To some extent there must be a DTB that will work across all variants
>>>> (albeit with limited utility) or the quirk approach wouldn't workâ
>>> Thatâs not correct; the only part of the DTB that needs to be common
>>> is the model property that would allow the quirk detection logic to fire.
>>> So, there is a base DTB that will work on all variants, but that only means
>>> that it will work only up to the point that the quirk detector method
>>> can work. So while in recommended practice there are common subsets
>>> of the DTB that might work, they might be unsafe.
>>> For instance on the beaglebone the regulator configuration is different
>>> between white and black, it is imperative you get them right otherwise
>>> you risk board damage.
>>>>>> So it's not necessarily true that you need a complex bootloader.
>>>>>>> +2. On many instances boot time is extremely critical; in some cases
>>>>>>> +there are hard requirements like having working video feeds in under
>>>>>>> +2 seconds from power-up. This leaves an extremely small time budget for
>>>>>>> +boot-up, as low as 500ms to kernel entry. The sanest way to get there
>>>>>>> +is by removing the standard bootloader from the normal boot sequence
>>>>>>> +altogether by having a very small boot shim that loads the kernel and
>>>>>>> +immediately jumps to kernel, like falcon-boot mode in u-boot does.
>>>>>> Given my previous comments above I don't see why this is relevant.
>>>>>> You're already passing _some_ DTB here, so if you can organise for the
>>>>>> board to statically provide a sane DTB that's fine, or you can resort to
>>>>>> appended DTB if it's not possible to update the board configuration.
>>>>> Youâre missing the point. I canât use the same DTB for each revision of the
>>>>> board. Each board is similar but itâs not identical.
>>>> I think you've misunderstood my point. If you program the board with the
>>>> relevant DTB, or use appended DTB, then you will pass the correct DTB to
>>>> the kernel without need for quirks.
>>>> I understand that each variant is somewhat incompatible (and hence needs
>>>> its own DTB).
>>> In theory it might work, in practice this does not. Ludovic mentioned that they
>>> have 27 different DTBs in use at the moment. At a relatively common 60k per DTB
>>> thatâs 27x60k = 1.6MB of DTBs, that need to be installed.
>> < snip >
>> Or you can install the correct DTB on the board. You trust your manufacturing line
>> to install the correct resistors. You trust your manufacturing line to install the
>> correct kernel version (eg an updated version to resolve a security issue).
>> I thought the DT blob was supposed to follow the same standard that other OS's or
>> bootloaders understood. Are you willing to break that? (This is one of those
>> ripples I mentioned in my other emails.)
> Trust no-one.
> This is one of those things that the kernel community doesnât understand which makes people
> who push product quite mad.
> Engineering a product is not only about meeting customer spec, in order to turn a profit
> the whole endeavor must be engineered as well for manufacturability.
> Yes, you can always manually install files in the bootloader. For 1 board no problem.
> For 10 doable. For 100 I guess you can hire an extra guy. For 1 million? Guess what,
> instead of turning a profit youâre losing money if you only have a few cents of profit
> per unit.

I'm not installing physical components manually. Why would I be installing software
manually? (rhetorical question)

> No knobs to tweak means no knobs to break. And a broken knob can have pretty bad consequences
> for a few million units.

And you produce a few million units before testing that the first one off the line works?

> And frankly I donât care what other OSes do. If you were to take a look at the sorry DT support
> they have youâd be amazed.
> I would be very surprised if thereâs another OS out there that can boot with a late Linux DTB.
>> -Frank
> Regards
> â Pantelis
> PS. For a real use case please take a look at the answer Guenter gave on this thread a little
> while back.

My previous comments were written after reading Guenter's comment.


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