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SubjectRe: [patch RFC 38/38] irqchip: Add IMS array driver - NOT FOR MERGING
On Sat, Aug 22, 2020 at 03:34:45AM +0200, Thomas Gleixner wrote:
> >> One question is whether the device can see partial updates to that
> >> memory due to the async 'swap' of context from the device CPU.
> >
> > It is worse than just partial updates.. The device operation is much
> > more like you'd imagine a CPU cache. There could be copies of the RAM
> > in the device for long periods of time, dirty data in the device that
> > will flush back to CPU RAM overwriting CPU changes, etc.
>
> TBH, that's insane. You clearly want to think about this some
> more. If

I think this general design is around 15 years old, across a healthy
number of silicon generations, and rather a lager number of shipped
devices. People have thought about it :)

> you swap out device state and device control state then you definitly
> want to have regions which are read only from the device POV and never
> written back.

It is not as useful as you'd think - the issue with atomicity of
update still largely prevents doing much useful from the CPU, and to
make any CPU side changes visible a device command would still be
needed to synchronize the internal state to that modified memory.

So, CPU centric updates would cover a very limited number of
operations, and a device command is required anyhow. Little is
actually gained.

> The MSI msg store clearly belongs into that category.
> But that's not restricted to the MSI msg store, there is certainly other
> stuff which never wants to be written back by the device.

To get a design where you'd be able to run everything from a CPU
atomic context that can't trigger a WQ..

New silicon would have to implement some MSI-only 'cache' that can
invalidate entries based on a simple MemWr TLP.

Then the affinity update would write to the host memory, then send a
MemWr to the device to trigger invalidate.

As a silicon design it might work, but it means existing devices can't
be used with this dev_msi. It is also the sort of thing that would
need a standard document to have any hope of multiple vendors fitting
into it. Eg at PCI-SIG or something.

> If you don't do that then you simply can't write to that space from the
> CPU and you have to transport this kind information always via command
> queues.

Yes, exactly. This is part of the architectural design of the device,
has been for a long time. Has positives and negatives.

> > I suppose the core code could provide this as a service? Sort of a
> > varient of the other lazy things above?
>
> Kinda. That needs a lot of thought for the affinity setting stuff
> because it can be called from contexts which do not allow that. It's
> solvable though, but I clearly need to stare at the corner cases for a
> while.

If possible, this would be ideal, as we could use the dev_msi on a big
installed base of existing HW.

I suspect other HW can probably fit into this too as the basic
ingredients should be fairly widespread.

Even a restricted version for situations where affinity does not need
a device update would possibly be interesting (eg x86 IOMMU remap, ARM
GIC, etc)

> OTOH, in normal operation for MSI interrupts (edge type) masking is not
> used at all and just restricted to the startup teardown.

Yeah, at least this device doesn't need masking at runtime, just
startup/teardown and affinity update.

Thanks,
Jason

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