[ppc-dev] Re: Restructuring Efforts

Benjamin Herrenschmidt bh40 at calva.net
Thu Feb 18 22:25:39 EST 1999

On Wed, Feb 17, 1999, David A. Gatwood <marsmail at globegate.utm.edu> wrote:

>Sounds a lot like a bunch of things in BSD-like kernels, where, in
>MkLinux, for instance, interrupt_heathrow.c, interrupt_pdm.c, etc. each
>have a static structure with pointers to their externally visible
>functions, and the main function checks the hardware type and assigns a
>global pointer to point to the static structure for the particular set of
>routines.  Is that what you mean?

Almost ;-)

This scheme still requires one more pointer dereferencing: one to get to
the global holding the structure pointer, one to get the structure, one
to get the function.

I was thinking about filling a static structure with function pointers
instead (but the "modules" can still export a pointer to a structure, the
kernel will just copy the pointers in the structure instead of just
storing a pointer to the structure).
This way, we have one less indirection.
If the structure can be stored at a fixed address in kernel virtual space
(hummm....) then access to the function pointers can be really fast.

Of course, this is really a matter of details, but since those will be
used in a lot of performance sensitive execution path (interrupts, mm,
...), such optimisation can make a difference by avoiding unnecessary
cache misses.

Maybe we could wrap the calls to the functions themselves in macros so
that we can later change the way the mecanism is implemented.

           E-Mail: <mailto:bh40 at calva.net>
BenH.      Web   : <http://calvaweb.calvacom.fr/bh40/>

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