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SubjectRe: Opinion on ordering of writel vs. stores to RAM
On Sunday, September 10, 2006 6:00 pm, Benjamin Herrenschmidt wrote:
> > If we accept this, I don't think we're much better off than we are
> > currently (not that I have a problem with that). That is, many
> > drivers
> > would still need to be fixed up.
> Not necessarily if you introduce the trick of doing the mmiowb() in
> spin_unlock when a per-cpu flag has been set previously by writel... not
> sure if it's worth tho.

True, though again this would add a branch to writeX.

> > Depends on what you mean by "ordered between MMIO and MMIO".
> > mmiowb()
> > was initially introduced to allow ordering of writes between CPUs,
> > and
> > really didn't say anything about memory vs. I/O, so the semantics you
> > describe here would also be different (and more expensive) than what
> > we
> > have now.
> No. What I mean is that two consecutive MMIO writes on the same CPU stay
> in order, and reads can't cross writes. The relaxed versions would still
> require mmiowb() (or another name) for synchronisation against
> spinlocks. As I told you before, I much prefer to sync of mmiowb() as a
> sync with locks than a sync with "other MMIOs on anotehr CPU" since that
> doesn't mean anything outside of the context of a lock.

Sure, that's where one would typically use it, but it really is a memory

> > This is what mmiowb() is supposed to be, though only for writes.
> > I.e.
> > two writes from different CPUs may arrive out of order if you don't
> > use
> > mmiowb() carefully. Do you also need a mmiorb() macro or just a
> > stronger mmiob()?
> No, you misunderstand me. That's the main problem with mmiowb() and
> that's why it's so not clear to so many people: the way you keep
> presenting it as synchronizing MMIO vs. MMIO. I think it's a lot more
> clear if you present it as synchronizing MMIOs with locks. MMIO vs. MMIO
> is anohter matter.

That's because it *is* a barrier. I don't think it's any harder to understand
then regular memory barriers for example. It's just that you'd typically use
it in conjunction with locks to ensure proper device access.

> It's wether consecutive MMIO writes can be
> re-ordered, wether MMIO loads can cross a write (either because the load
> is performed late, only when the value is actually used, or because the
> load can be exucuted before a preceeding write). That's what current
> __raw_* versions on PowerPC will allow, in addition to not doing endian
> swap. My proposal was that __writel/__readl, however, would keep MMIO
> vs. MMIO ordering (wouldn't allow that sort of re-ordering), however,
> they wouldn't order vs. spinlock (would still require mmiowb) nor vs.
> main memory (cacheable storage).

Ok, that's fine, though I think you'd only want the very weak semantics (as
provided by your __raw* routines) on write combined memory typically?

> > mmiowb() could be written as io_to_io_write_barrier() if we wanted to be
> > extra verbose. AIUI it's the same thing as smb_wmb() but for MMIO
> > space.
> I'm very much against your terminology. It's -not- an IO to IO barrier.
> It's an IO to lock barrier. Really. IO to IO is something else. ordering
> of IOs between CPUs has absolutely no meaning outside of the context of
> locked regions in any case.

But it *is* MMIO vs. MMIO. There's confusion because your __raw* routines
don't even guarantee same CPU ordering, while mmiowb() is solely intended for
inter-CPU ordering.

But as you say, the most common (maybe only) use model for it is to make sure
critical sections protecting device access behave correctly, so I don't have
a problem tying it to locks somehow.

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