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    SubjectRE: [patch v4 1/7] crc32: move-to-documentation.diff
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    > -----Original Message-----
    > From: George Spelvin [mailto:linux@horizon.com]
    > Sent: Tuesday, August 09, 2011 6:45 AM
    > To: akpm@linux-foundation.org; fzago@systemfabricworks.com;
    > joakim.tjernlund@transmode.se; linux-kernel@vger.kernel.org;
    > linux@horizon.com; rdunlap@xenotime.net;
    > rpearson@systemfabricworks.com
    > Subject: Re: [patch v4 1/7] crc32: move-to-documentation.diff
    >
    > Here's a hopefully-improved Documentation file, which explains the slicing
    > algorithm as well. As long as you have a big diff, it seems worth
    tweaking.
    >
    > You also might want to leave a pointer in lib/crc32.c to the relocated
    docs.
    >
    > (I'm just inclding the whole changed file because I assume it's easier
    > to review that way; do you prefer a diff?)
    >
    > === Cut here ===
    > A brief CRC tutorial.
    >
    > A CRC is a long-division remainder. You add the CRC to the message,
    > and the whole thing (message+CRC) is a multiple of the given
    > CRC polynomial. To check the CRC, you can either check that the
    > CRC matches the recomputed value, *or* you can check that the
    > remainder computed on the message+CRC is 0. This latter approach
    > is used by a lot of hardware implementations, and is why so many
    > protocols put the end-of-frame flag after the CRC.
    >
    > It's actually the same long division you learned in school, except that
    > - We're working in binary, so the digits are only 0 and 1, and
    > - When dividing polynomials, there are no carries. Rather than add and
    > subtract, we just xor. Thus, we tend to get a bit sloppy about
    > the difference between adding and subtracting.
    >
    > Like all division, the remainder is always smaller than the divisor.
    > To produce a 32-bit CRC, the divisor is actually a 33-bit CRC polynomial.
    > Since it's 33 bits long, bit 32 is always going to be set, so usually the
    > CRC is written in hex with the most significant bit omitted. (If you're
    > familiar with the IEEE 754 floating-point format, it's the same idea.)
    >
    > Note that a CRC is computed over a string of *bits*, so you have
    > to decide on the endianness of the bits within each byte. To get
    > the best error-detecting properties, this should correspond to the
    > order they're actually sent. For example, standard RS-232 serial is
    > little-endian; the most significant bit (sometimes used for parity)
    > is sent last. And when appending a CRC word to a message, you should
    > do it in the right order, matching the endianness.
    >
    >
    > Just like with ordinary division, you proceed one digit (bit) at a time.
    > Each step of the division, division, you take one more digit (bit) of the
    > dividend and append it to the current remainder. Then you figure out the
    > appropriate multiple of the divisor to subtract to being the remainder
    > back into range. In binary, this is easy - it has to be either 0 or 1,
    > and to make the XOR cancel, it's just a copy of bit 32 of the remainder.
    >
    > When computing a CRC, we don't care about the quotient, so we can
    > throw the quotient bit away, but subtract the appropriate multiple of
    > the polynomial from the remainder and we're back to where we started,
    > ready to process the next bit.
    >
    > A big-endian CRC written this way would be coded like:
    > for (i = 0; i < input_bits; i++) {
    > multiple = remainder & 0x80000000 ? CRCPOLY : 0;
    > remainder = (remainder << 1 | next_input_bit()) ^ multiple;
    > }
    >
    > Notice how, to get at bit 32 of the shifted remainder, we look
    > at bit 31 of the remainder *before* shifting it.
    >
    > But also notice how the next_input_bit() bits we're shifting into
    > the remainder don't actually affect any decision-making until
    > 32 bits later. Thus, the first 32 cycles of this are pretty boring.
    > Also, to add the CRC to a message, we need a 32-bit-long hole for it at
    > the end, so we have to add 32 extra cycles shifting in zeros at the
    > end of every message,
    >
    > These details lead to a standard trick: rearrange merging in the
    > next_input_bit() until the moment it's needed. Then the first 32 cycles
    > can be precomputed, and merging in the final 32 zero bits to make room
    > for the CRC can be skipped entirely. This changes the code to:
    >
    > for (i = 0; i < input_bits; i++) {
    > remainder ^= next_input_bit() << 31;
    > multiple = (remainder & 0x80000000) ? CRCPOLY : 0;
    > remainder = (remainder << 1) ^ multiple;
    > }
    >
    > With this optimization, the little-endian code is particularly simple:
    > for (i = 0; i < input_bits; i++) {
    > remainder ^= next_input_bit();
    > multiple = (remainder & 1) ? CRCPOLY : 0;
    > remainder = (remainder >> 1) ^ multiple;
    > }
    >
    > The most significant coefficient of the remainder polynomial is stored
    > in the least significant bit of the binary "remainder" variable.
    > The other details of endianness have been hidden in CRCPOLY (which must
    > be bit-reversed) and next_input_bit().
    >
    > As long as next_input_bit is returning the bits in a sensible order, we
    don't
    > *have* to wait until the last possible moment to merge in additional bits.
    > We can do it 8 bits at a time rather than 1 bit at a time:
    > for (i = 0; i < input_bytes; i++) {
    > remainder ^= next_input_byte() << 24;
    > for (j = 0; j < 8; j++) {
    > multiple = (remainder & 0x80000000) ? CRCPOLY : 0;
    > remainder = (remainder << 1) ^ multiple;
    > }
    > }
    > Or in little-endian:
    > for (i = 0; i < input_bytes; i++) {
    > remainder ^= next_input_byte();
    > for (j = 0; j < 8; j++) {
    > multiple = (remainder & 1) ? CRCPOLY : 0;
    > remainder = (remainder << 1) ^ multiple;
    > }
    > }
    >
    > If the input is a multiple of 32 bits, you can even XOR in a 32-bit
    > word at a time and increase the inner loop count to 32.
    >
    > You can also mix and match the two loop styles, for example doing the
    > bulk of a message byte-at-a-time and adding bit-at-a-time processing
    > for any fractional bytes at the end.
    >
    >
    > To reduce the number of conditional branches, software commonly uses
    > the byte-at-a-time table method, popularized by Dilip V. Sarwate,
    > "Computation of Cyclic Redundancy Checks via Table Look-Up", Comm. ACM
    > v.31 no.8 (August 1998) p. 1008-1013.
    >
    > Here, rather than just shifting one bit of the remainder to decide
    > in the correct multiple to subtract, we can shift a byte at a time.
    > This produces a 40-bit (rather than a 33-bit) intermediate remainder,
    > and the correct multiple of the polynomial to subtract is found using
    > a 256-entry lookup table indexed by the high 8 bits.
    >
    > (The table entries are simply the CRC-32 of the given one-byte messages.)
    >
    > When space is more constrained, smaller tables can be used, e.g. two
    > 4-bit shifts followed by a lookup in a 16-entry table.
    >
    >
    > It is not practical to process much more than 8 bits at a time using this
    > technique, because tables larger than 256 entries use too much memory and,
    > more importantly, too much of the L1 cache.
    >
    > To get higher software performance, a "slicing" technique can be used.
    > See "High Octane CRC Generation with the Intel Slicing-by-8 Algorithm",
    > ftp://download.intel.com/technology/comms/perfnet/download/slicing-by-
    > 8.pdf
    >
    > This does not change the number of table lookups, but does increase
    > the parallelism. With the classic Sarwate algorithm, each table lookup
    > must be completed before the index of the next can be computed.
    >
    > A "slicing by 2" technique would shift the remainder 16 bits at a time,
    > producing a 48-bit intermediate remainder. Rather than doing a single
    > lookup in a 65536-entry table, the two high bytes are looked up in
    > two different 256-entry tables. Each contains the remainder required
    > to cancel out the corresponding byte. The tables are different because
    the
    > polynomials to cancel are different. One has non-zero coefficients from
    > x^32 to x^39, while the other goes from x^40 to x^47.
    >
    > Since modern processors can handle many parallel memory operations, this
    > takes barely longer than a single table look-up and thus performs almost
    > twice as fast as the basic Sarwate algorithm.
    >
    > This can be extended to "slicing by 4" using 4 256-entry tables.
    > Each step, 32 bits of data is fetched, XORed with the CRC, and the result
    > broken into bytes and looked up in the tables. Because the 32-bit shift
    > leaves the low-order bits of the intermediate remainder zero, the
    > final CRC is simply the XOR of the 4 table look-ups.
    >
    > But this still enforces sequential execution: a second group of table
    > look-ups cannot begin until the previous groups 4 table look-ups have all
    > been completed. Thus, the processor's load/store unit is sometimes idle.
    >
    > To make maximum use of the processor, "slicing by 8" performs 8 look-ups
    > in parallel. Each step, the 32-bit CRC is shifted 64 bits and XORed
    > with 64 bits of input data. What is important to note is that 4 of
    > those 8 bytes are simply copies of the input data; they do not depend
    > on the previous CRC at all. Thus, those 4 table look-ups may commence
    > immediately, without waiting for the previous loop iteration.
    >
    > By always having 4 loads in flight, a modern superscalar processor can
    > be kept busy and make full use of its L1 cache.
    >
    >
    > Two more details about CRC implementation in the real world:
    >
    > Normally, appending zero bits to a message which is already a multiple
    > of a polynomial produces a larger multiple of that polynomial. Thus,
    > a basic CRC will not detect appended zero bits (or bytes). To enable
    > a CRC to detect this condition, it's common to invert the CRC before
    > appending it. This makes the remainder of the message+crc come out not
    > as zero, but some fixed non-zero value. (The CRC of the inversion
    > pattern, 0xffffffff.)
    >
    > The same problem applies to zero bits prepended to the message, and a
    > similar solution is used. Instead of starting the CRC computation with
    > a remainder of 0, an initial remainder of all ones is used. As long as
    > you start the same way on decoding, it doesn't make a difference.

    Thanks George! I'll replace the document patch with this. Can I add a signed
    off line from you?



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