Re: noveau vs arm dma ops

From: Russell King - ARM Linux
Date: Wed Apr 25 2018 - 18:55:22 EST

On Wed, Apr 25, 2018 at 08:33:12AM -0700, Christoph Hellwig wrote:
> On Wed, Apr 25, 2018 at 12:04:29PM +0200, Daniel Vetter wrote:
> > - dma api hides the cache flushing requirements from us. GPUs love
> > non-snooped access, and worse give userspace control over that. We want
> > a strict separation between mapping stuff and flushing stuff. With the
> > IOMMU api we mostly have the former, but for the later arch maintainers
> > regularly tells they won't allow that. So we have drm_clflush.c.
> The problem is that a cache flushing API entirely separate is hard. That
> being said if you look at my generic dma-noncoherent API series it tries
> to move that way. So far it is in early stages and apparently rather
> buggy unfortunately.

And if folk want a cacheable mapping with explicit cache flushing, the
cache flushing must not be defined in terms of "this is what CPU seems
to need" but from the point of view of a CPU with infinite prefetching,
infinite caching and infinite capacity to perform writebacks of dirty
cache lines at unexpected moments when the memory is mapped in a
cacheable mapping.

(The reason for that is you're operating in a non-CPU specific space,
so you can't make any guarantees as to how much caching or prefetching
will occur by the CPU - different CPUs will do different amounts.)

So, for example, the sequence:

GPU writes to memory
CPU reads from cacheable memory

if the memory was previously dirty (iow, CPU has written), you need to
flush the dirty cache lines _before_ the GPU writes happen, but you
don't know whether the CPU has speculatively prefetched, so you need
to flush any prefetched cache lines before reading from the cacheable
memory _after_ the GPU has finished writing.

Also note that "flush" there can be "clean the cache", "clean and
invalidate the cache" or "invalidate the cache" as appropriate - some
CPUs are able to perform those three operations, and the appropriate
one depends on not only where in the above sequence it's being used,
but also on what the operations are.

So, the above sequence could be:

CPU invalidates cache for memory
(due to possible dirty cache lines)
GPU writes to memory
CPU invalidates cache for memory
(to get rid of any speculatively prefetched
CPU reads from cacheable memory

Yes, in the above case, _two_ cache operations are required to ensure
correct behaviour. However, if you know for certain that the memory was
previously clean, then the first cache operation can be skipped.

What I'm pointing out is there's much more than just "I want to flush
the cache" here, which is currently what DRM seems to assume at the
moment with the code in drm_cache.c.

If we can agree a set of interfaces that allows _proper_ use of these
facilities, one which can be used appropriately, then there shouldn't
be a problem. The DMA API does that via it's ideas about who owns a
particular buffer (because of the above problem) and that's something
which would need to be carried over to such a cache flushing API (it
should be pretty obvious that having a GPU read or write memory while
the cache for that memory is being cleaned will lead to unexpected

Also note that things get even more interesting in a SMP environment
if cache operations aren't broadcasted across the SMP cluster (which
means cache operations have to be IPI'd to other CPUs.)

The next issue, which I've brought up before, is that exposing cache
flushing to userspace on architectures where it isn't already exposed
comes. As has been shown by Google Project Zero, this risks exposing
those architectures to Spectre and Meltdown exploits where they weren't
at such a risk before. (I've pretty much shown here that you _do_
need to control which cache lines get flushed to make these exploits
work, and flushing the cache by reading lots of data in liu of having
the ability to explicitly flush bits of cache makes it very difficult
to impossible for them to work.)

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