How to map memory uncached on PPC.

Stephen Williams steve at
Sat Aug 20 01:17:18 EST 2005

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My setup is Linux PPC kernel 2.4.30 on an embedded PPC405BPr.
The board has some image processing devices including compressors.
I'm working with high image rates so performance is a issue.

The drivers for the pci based compressor chips support readv
and use map_user_kiobuf and pci_map_single to map the output
buffers for the read. (The devices do scatter DMA.) This is
too slow, though. More time is spent mapping then compressing!

I did some measurements, at it seems that the vast amount of
the time is spent in pci_map_single, which calls only the
consistent_sync function, which for FROMDEVICE calls only
invalidate_dcache_range. So I'm convinced that invalidating
the cache for the output buffer (which is large, in case the
image that arrives is large) is taking most of the time. So
I want to eliminate it.

And the way I want to do that is to have a heap of memory in
the user-mode process mapped uncached. The hope is that I can
pass that through the readv to the driver, which sets up the
DMA. Then I can skip the pci_map_single (and the thus the
invalidate_dcache_range) thus saving lots of time.

Plan-B would be to have a driver allocate the heap of memory,
but I really need the mapping into user mode to be uncached,
as the processor does some final touch up (header et al) before
sending it to the next device.
- --
Steve Williams                "The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
steve at           But I have promises to keep,         and lines to code before I sleep,       And lines to code before I sleep."
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