[RFC] Clock binding

Benjamin Herrenschmidt benh at kernel.crashing.org
Thu Aug 27 14:09:17 EST 2009

On Tue, 2009-08-18 at 14:21 +1000, Benjamin Herrenschmidt wrote:
> So here's a followup to my discussion about the clock API.

Really nobody has a comment here ? :-) Not even Mitch ?


> I'm cooking up a patch that replace our current primitive implementation
> in arch/powerpc/kernel/clock.c with something along the lines of what I
> described. However, I want a bit more churn here on the device-tree
> related bits.
> So, basically, the goal here is to define a binding so that we can link
> a device clock inputs to a clock provider clock outputs.
> In general, in a system, there's actually 3 "names" involved. The clock
> provider output name, the clock signal name, and the clock input name on
> the device. However, I want to avoid involving the clock signal name as
> it's a "global" name and it will just end up being a mess if we start
> exposing that.
> So basically, it boils down to a device having some clock inputs,
> referenced by names, that need to be linked to another node which is a
> clock provider, which has outputs, references either by number or names,
> see discussion below.
> First, why names, and not numbers ? IE. It's the OF "tradition" for
> resources to just be an array, like interrupts, or address ranges in
> "reg" properties, and one has to know what the Nth interrupt correspond
> too.
> My answer here is that maybe the tradition but it's crap :-) Names are
> much better in the long run, besides it makes it easier to represent if
> not all inputs have been wired. Also, to some extent, things like PCI do
> encode a "name" with "reg" or "assigned-addresses" properties as part of
> the config space offset in the top part of the address, and that has
> proved very useful.
> Thus I think using names is the way to go, and we should even generalize
> that and add a new "interrupt-names" property to name the members of an
> "interrupts" :-)
> So back to the subject at hand. That leaves us with having to populate
> the driver with some kind of map (I call it clock-map). Ideally, if
> everything is named, which is the best approach imho, that map would
> bind a list of:
> 	- clock input name
> 	- clock provider phandle
> 	- clock output name on provider
> However, it's a bit nasty to mix strings and numbers (phandles) in a
> single property. It's possible, but would likely lead to the phandle not
> being aligned and tools such as lsprop to fail miserably to display
> those properties in any kind of readable form.
> My earlier emails proposed an approach like this:
> 	- clock input names go into a "clock-names" property
> 	  (which I suggest naming instead "clock-input-names" btw)
> 	- the map goes into a "clock-map" property and for each input
> 	  provides a phandle and a one cell numerical ID that identifies
> 	  the clock on the source.
> However, I really dislike that numerical clock ID. Magic numbers suck.
> It should be a string. But I don't want to add a 3rd property in there.
> Hence my idea below. It's not perfect but it's the less sucky i've come
> up with so far. And then we can do some small refinements.
> 	* Device has:
> 		- "clock-input-names" as above
> 		- "clock-map" contains list of phandle,index
> 	* Clock source has:
> 		- "clock-output-names" list of strings
> The "index" in the clock map thus would reference the
> "clock-output-names" array in the clock provider. That means that the
> "magic number" here is entirely local to a given device-tree, doesn't
> leak into driver code, which continues using names.
> In addition, we can even have some smooth "upgrade" path from existing
> "clock-frequency" properties by assuming that if "clock-output-names" is
> absent, but "clock-frequency" exist, then index 0 references a fixed
> frequency clock source without a driver. This could be generally handy
> anyway to represent crystals of fixed bus clocks without having to write
> a clock source driver for them.
> Any comments ?
> I'll post a patch, maybe later today, implementing the above (I may or
> may not have time to also convert the existing 512x code to it, we'll
> see).
> Cheers,
> Ben.
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