Re: [PATCH 2/2] dma: add Qualcomm Technologies HIDMA channel driver

From: Sinan Kaya
Date: Mon Nov 02 2015 - 14:21:47 EST

On 11/2/2015 11:33 AM, Arnd Bergmann wrote:
On Sunday 01 November 2015 13:50:53 Sinan Kaya wrote:

The issue is not writel_relaxed vs. writel. After I issue reset, I need
wait for some time to confirm reset was done. I can use readl_polling
instead of mdelay if we don't like mdelay.

I meant that both _relaxed() and mdelay() are probably wrong here.

You are right about redundant writel_relaxed + wmb. They are effectively
equal to writel.

Actually, writel() is wmb()+writel_relaxed(), not the other way round:

I agree. Semantics... but important one since order matters this time.

When sending a command to a device that can start a DMA transfer,
the barrier is required to ensure that the DMA happens after previously
written data has gone from the CPU write buffers into the memory that
is used as the source for the transfer.


A barrier after the writel() has no effect, as MMIO writes are posted
on the bus.

I had two use cases in the original code. We are talking about start routine here. I was giving reference to enable/reset/disable uses above.

1. Start routine


2. enable/reset/disable

I changed writel_relaxed to writel now in start routine and submitted the second version of the patchset yesterday. I hope you have received it. I was relying on the spinlocks before.

However, after issuing the command; I still need to wait some amount of
time until hardware acknowledges the commands like reset/enable/disable.
These are relatively faster operations happening in microseconds. That's
why, I have mdelay there.

I'll take a look at workqueues but it could turn out to be an overkill
for few microseconds.

Most devices are able to provide an interrupt for long-running commands.
Are you sure that yours is unable to do this? If so, is this a design
mistake or an implementation bug?

I think I was not clear on how long these command take. These command are really fast and get acknowledged at status register in few microseconds. That's why I choose polling.

I was waiting up to 10ms before and manually sleeping 1 milliseconds in between each using mdelay. I followed your suggestion and got rid of the mdelay. Then, I used polled read command which calls the usleep_range function as you suggested.

Hardware supports error interrupts but this is a SW design philosophy discussion. Why would you want to trigger an interrupt for few microseconds delay that only happens during the first time init from probe?

Reading the status probably requires a readl() rather than readl_relaxed()
to guarantee that the DMA data has arrived in memory by the time that the
register data is seen by the CPU. If using readl_relaxed() here is a valid
and required optimization, please add a comment to explain why it works
and how much you gain.

I will add some description. This is a high speed peripheral. I don't
like spreading barriers as candies inside the readl and writel unless I
have to.

According to the barriers video, I watched on youtube this should be the
rule for ordering.

"if you do two relaxed reads and check the results of the returned
variables, ARM architecture guarantees that these two relaxed variables
will get observed during the check."

this is called implied ordering or something of that sort.

My point was a bit different: while it is guaranteed that the
result of the readl_relaxed() is observed in order, they do not
guarantee that a DMA from device to memory that was started by
the device before the readl_relaxed() has arrived in memory
by the time that the readl_relaxed() result is visible to the
CPU and it starts accessing the memory.

I checked with the hardware designers. Hardware guarantees that by the
time interrupt is observed, all data transactions in flight are
delivered to their respective places and are visible to the CPU. I'll
add a comment in the code about this.

I'm curious about this. Does that mean the device is not meant for
high-performance transfers and just synchronizes the bus before
triggering the interrupt?

HIDMA meaning, as you probably guessed, is high performance DMA. We had several name iterations in the company and this was the one that sticked.

I'm a SW person. I don't have the expertise to go deeper into HW design.
I'm following the programming document. It says coherency and guaranteed interrupt ordering. High performance can mean how fast you can move data from one location to the other one vs. how fast you can queue up multiple requests and get acks in response.

I followed a simple design here. HW can take multiple requests simultaneously and give me an ack when it is finished with interrupt.

If there are requests in flight, other requests will get queued up in SW and will not be serviced until the previous requests get acknowledged. Then, as soon as HW stops processing; I queue a bunch of other requests and kick start it. Current SW design does not allow simultaneous SW queuing vs. HW processing. I can try this on the next iteration. This implementation, IMO, is good enough now and has been working reliably for a long time (since 2014).

In other words, when the hardware sends you data followed by an
interrupt to tell you the data is there, your interrupt handler
can tell the driver that is waiting for this data that the DMA
is complete while the data itself is still in flight, e.g. waiting
for an IOMMU to fetch page table entries.

There is HW guarantee for ordering.

On demand paging for IOMMU is only supported for PCIe via PRI (Page
Request Interface) not for HIDMA. All other hardware instances work on
pinned DMA addresses. I'll drop a note about this too to the code as well.

I wasn't talking about paging, just fetching the IOTLB from the
preloaded page tables in RAM. This can takes several uncached memory
accesses, so it would generally be slow.

I see.

HIDMA is not aware of IOMMU presence since it follows the DMA API. All IOMMU latency will be built into the data movement time. By the time interrupt happens, IOMMU lookups + data movement has already taken place.


Sinan Kaya
Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. on behalf of Qualcomm Innovation Center, Inc.
Qualcomm Innovation Center, Inc. is a member of Code Aurora Forum, a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project
To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-kernel" in
the body of a message to majordomo@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
More majordomo info at
Please read the FAQ at