MMIO and gcc re-ordering issue

Pavel Machek pavel at
Sat May 31 18:14:51 EST 2008


> >>The only way to guarantee ordering in the above setup, 
> >>is to either
> >>make writel() fully ordered or adding the mmiowb()'s 
> >>inbetween the two
> >>writel's. On Altix you have to go and read from the 
> >>PCI brige to
> >>ensure all writes to it have been flushed, which is 
> >>also what mmiowb()
> >>is doing. If writel() was to guarantee this ordering, 
> >>it would make
> >>every writel() call extremely expensive :-(
> >
> >Interesting. I've always been taught by ia64 people 
> >that mmiowb() was
> >intended to be used solely between writel() and 
> >spin_unlock().
> >
> >I think in the above case, you really should make 
> >writel() ordered.
> >Anything else is asking for trouble, for the exact same 
> >reasons that I
> >made it fully ordered on powerpc at least vs. previous 
> >stores. I only
> >kept it relaxed vs. subsequent cacheable stores (ie, 
> >spin_unlock), for
> >which I use the trick mentioned before.
> Hmmm I hope I didn't mess up the description of this and 
> added to the
> confusion.
> The net result of that would be to kill performance 
> completely, I really
> don't like that idea.... Having each writel() go out and 
> poll the PCI
> bridge is going to make every driver used on Altix slow 
> as a dog.
> In addition it's still not going to solve the problem 
> for userland
> mapped stuff such as infinibug.
> >Yes, this has some cost (can be fairly significant on 
> >powerpc too) but
> >I think it's a very basic assumption from drivers that 
> >consecutive
> >writel's, especially issued by the same CPU, will get 
> >to the device
> >in order.
> In this case the cost is more than just significant, 
> it's pretty
> crippling.
> >If this is a performance problem, then provide relaxed 
> >variants and
> >use them in selected drivers.
> We'd have to make major changes to drivers like e1000, 
> tg3, mptsas, the
> qla2/3/4xxx and a bunch of others to get performance 
> back. I really
> think the code maintenance issue there will get far 
> worse than what we
> have today :(

Still better than changing semantics of writel for _all_ drivers.

If you are really sure driver does not depend on writel order, it is
just a sed/// command, so I don't see any big code maintenance
(cesky, pictures)

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