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Subject[PATCH v9 09/12] mm: Document ZONE_DEVICE memory-model implications
Explain the general mechanisms of 'ZONE_DEVICE' pages and list the users
of 'devm_memremap_pages()'.

Cc: Jonathan Corbet <>
Reported-by: Mike Rapoport <>
Signed-off-by: Dan Williams <>
Documentation/vm/memory-model.rst | 39 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
1 file changed, 39 insertions(+)

diff --git a/Documentation/vm/memory-model.rst b/Documentation/vm/memory-model.rst
index 382f72ace1fc..e0af47e02e78 100644
--- a/Documentation/vm/memory-model.rst
+++ b/Documentation/vm/memory-model.rst
@@ -181,3 +181,42 @@ that is eventually passed to vmemmap_populate() through a long chain
of function calls. The vmemmap_populate() implementation may use the
`vmem_altmap` along with :c:func:`altmap_alloc_block_buf` helper to
allocate memory map on the persistent memory device.
+The `ZONE_DEVICE` facility builds upon `SPARSEMEM_VMEMMAP` to offer
+`struct page` `mem_map` services for device driver identified physical
+address ranges. The "device" aspect of `ZONE_DEVICE` relates to the fact
+that the page objects for these address ranges are never marked online,
+and that a reference must be taken against the device, not just the page
+to keep the memory pinned for active use. `ZONE_DEVICE`, via
+:c:func:`devm_memremap_pages`, performs just enough memory hotplug to
+turn on :c:func:`pfn_to_page`, :c:func:`page_to_pfn`, and
+:c:func:`get_user_pages` service for the given range of pfns. Since the
+page reference count never drops below 1 the page is never tracked as
+free memory and the page's `struct list_head lru` space is repurposed
+for back referencing to the host device / driver that mapped the memory.
+While `SPARSEMEM` presents memory as a collection of sections,
+optionally collected into memory blocks, `ZONE_DEVICE` users have a need
+for smaller granularity of populating the `mem_map`. Given that
+`ZONE_DEVICE` memory is never marked online it is subsequently never
+subject to its memory ranges being exposed through the sysfs memory
+hotplug api on memory block boundaries. The implementation relies on
+this lack of user-api constraint to allow sub-section sized memory
+ranges to be specified to :c:func:`arch_add_memory`, the top-half of
+memory hotplug. Sub-section support allows for `PMD_SIZE` as the minimum
+alignment granularity for :c:func:`devm_memremap_pages`.
+The users of `ZONE_DEVICE` are:
+* pmem: Map platform persistent memory to be used as a direct-I/O target
+ via DAX mappings.
+* hmm: Extend `ZONE_DEVICE` with `->page_fault()` and `->page_free()`
+ event callbacks to allow a device-driver to coordinate memory management
+ events related to device-memory, typically GPU memory. See
+ Documentation/vm/hmm.rst.
+* p2pdma: Create `struct page` objects to allow peer devices in a
+ PCI/-E topology to coordinate direct-DMA operations between themselves,
+ i.e. bypass host memory.
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