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SubjectRe: [PATCH v3] PCI: Check for PCIe downtraining conditions
[+cc Mike (hfi1)]

On Mon, Jul 16, 2018 at 10:28:35PM +0000, wrote:
> On 7/16/2018 4:17 PM, Bjorn Helgaas wrote:
> >> ...
> >> The easiest way to detect this is with pcie_print_link_status(),
> >> since the bottleneck is usually the link that is downtrained. It's not
> >> a perfect solution, but it works extremely well in most cases.
> >
> > This is an interesting idea. I have two concerns:
> >
> > Some drivers already do this on their own, and we probably don't want
> > duplicate output for those devices. In most cases (ixgbe and mlx* are
> > exceptions), the drivers do this unconditionally so we *could* remove
> > it from the driver if we add it to the core. The dmesg order would
> > change, and the message wouldn't be associated with the driver as it
> > now is.
> Oh, there are only 8 users of that. Even I could patch up the drivers to
> remove the call, assuming we reach agreement about this change.
> > Also, I think some of the GPU devices might come up at a lower speed,
> > then download firmware, then reset the device so it comes up at a
> > higher speed. I think this patch will make us complain about about
> > the low initial speed, which might confuse users.
> I spoke to one of the PCIe spec writers. It's allowable for a device to
> downtrain speed or width. It would also be extremely dumb to downtrain
> with the intent to re-train at a higher speed later, but it's possible
> devices do dumb stuff like that. That's why it's an informational
> message, instead of a warning.

FWIW, here's some of the discussion related to hfi1 from [1]:

> Btw, why is the driver configuring the PCIe link speed? Isn't
> this something we should be handling in the PCI core?

The device comes out of reset at the 5GT/s speed. The driver
downloads device firmware, programs PCIe registers, and co-ordinates
the transition to 8GT/s.

This recipe is device specific and is therefore implemented in the
hfi1 driver built on top of PCI core functions and macros.

Also several DRM drivers seem to do this (see cik_pcie_gen3_enable(),
si_pcie_gen3_enable()); from [2]:

My understanding was that some platfoms only bring up the link in gen 1
mode for compatibility reasons.


> Another case: Some devices (lower-end GPUs) use silicon (and marketing)
> that advertises x16, but they're only routed for x8. I'm okay with
> seeing an informational message in this case. In fact, I didn't know
> that my Quadro card for three years is only wired for x8 until I was
> testing this patch.

Yeah, it's probably OK. I don't want bug reports from people who
think something's broken when it's really just a hardware limitation
of their system. But hopefully the message is not alarming.

> > So I'm not sure whether it's better to do this in the core for all
> > devices, or if we should just add it to the high-performance drivers
> > that really care.
> You're thinking "do I really need that bandwidth" because I'm using a
> function called "_bandwidth_". The point of the change is very far from
> that: it is to help in system troubleshooting by detecting downtraining
> conditions.

I'm not sure what you think I'm thinking :) My question is whether
it's worthwhile to print this extra information for *every* PCIe
device, given that your use case is the tiny percentage of broken

If we only printed the info in the "bw_avail < bw_cap" case, i.e.,
when the device is capable of more than it's getting, that would make
a lot of sense to me. The normal case line is more questionable. I
think the reason that's there is because the network drivers are very
performance sensitive and like to see that info all the time.

Maybe we need something like this:

pcie_print_link_status(struct pci_dev *dev, int verbose)
if (bw_avail >= bw_cap) {
if (verbose)
pci_info(dev, "... available PCIe bandwidth ...");
} else
pci_info(dev, "... available PCIe bandwidth, limited by ...");

So the core could print only the potential problems with:

pcie_print_link_status(dev, 0);

and drivers that really care even if there's no problem could do:

pcie_print_link_status(dev, 1);

> >> Signed-off-by: Alexandru Gagniuc <>
> [snip]
> >> + /* Look from the device up to avoid downstream ports with no devices. */
> >> + if ((pci_pcie_type(dev) != PCI_EXP_TYPE_ENDPOINT) &&
> >> + (pci_pcie_type(dev) != PCI_EXP_TYPE_LEG_END) &&
> >> + (pci_pcie_type(dev) != PCI_EXP_TYPE_UPSTREAM))
> >> + return;
> >
> > Do we care about Upstream Ports here?
> YES! Switches. e.g. an x16 switch with 4x downstream ports could
> downtrain at 8x and 4x, and we'd never catch it.

OK, I think I see your point: if the upstream port *could* do 16x but
only trains to 4x, and two endpoints below it are both capable of 4x,
the endpoints *think* they're happy but in fact they have to share 4x
when they could use more.


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