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SubjectRe: Does kmalloc always return address below 4GB?
>   From: "Adam J. Richter" <>
> Date: Tue, 5 Mar 2002 06:43:35 -0800
> Just to be clear, I assume that you mean that you cannot
> simply cast these virtual addresses to dma_addr_t and that the
> underlying physical memory is not guaranteed to be below 4GB,
> but that you can use that memory with pci_map_single if your
> PCI device can handle 64 bit addresses.
> If I got it right, then here is some proposed replacement
> text, to possibly save you a little effort:

>You haven't got it right. Physical address > 4GB does not mean
>your 32-bit device cannot DMA to it. Stop thinking about
>implementation, that's the whole point of the abstraction :-)

>On 64-bit platforms that don't set CONFIG_HIGHMEM, they have MMU's on
>the PCI bus that can map arbitrary 64-bit physical addresses to 32-bit
>PCI bus addresses. So on these platforms you may pass any pointer
>from kmalloc()/alloc_page() whatsoever into the pci_map_foo()

I think you're confusing a "there exists one x" with "for every
x". In your statement, you've reduced your universe to "platforms
that don't set CONFIG_HIGHMEM", but that is not all systems.

While there exists one (or more) computers that have this
reverse mapping hardware, I believe that it is not true of *all*
platforms with >4GB of RAM. I infer from your statement that
all 64-bit platforms that lack this hardware should define CONFIG_HIGHMEM.

>In order to handle highmem pages, you have to set your DMA mask
>appropriately (to indicate 64-bit addressing capability) and
>use pci_map_page() instead of pci_map_single().

Let's say I have some random Pentium3 or Pentium4
machine with >4GB of memory, the PCI card in question only does 32 bit
addressing. This is a CONFIG_HIGMEM platform and it lacks the
MMU that you discuss in the first paragraph of DMA-mapping.txt, right?

Now imagine that a vmalloc in this driver returns a page
above 4GB (include/linux/vmalloc.h defines vmalloc() to pass __GFP_HIGHMEM).
What will pci_map_single return? I think, under x86, pci_map_single
will call __pa, which will return the underlying physical address,
which, in this case, would be above 4GB, which would not be accessible
by the PCI card.

>Look at other drivers using the DMA interfaces like the two aic7xxx
>and all of the sym53c8xx drivers, they get it right.

Grepping for vmalloc and kmap in them turns up no hits.

I understand that your pci_alloc_consistent abstration allows
one to write a driver for a 32-bit PCI card that, on 64-bit systems
with the MMU that you describe, that will be able to use memory above 4GB
for IO transfers, like so:

pci_set_dma_mask(pcidev, 0xffffffff);
addr = pci_alloc_consistent(pcidev, nbytes, direction,
/* __pa(addr) may be >4GB, but only on systems with
PCI address mapping hardware. dma_address will
be <4GB on all systems. */
TELL_DEVICE_TO_DO_TRANSFER(dma_addr, nbytes);

Maybe I need to rephrase my proposed text for greater
clarity. The point of my proposed text was that, in the absense of
"#ifndef CONFIG_HIGMEM", the following code will not work on a 32-bit
computer with >4GB of RAM (CONFIG_HIGHEM) talking to a PCI card
that only does 32-bit addressing:

pci_set_dma_mask(pcidev, 0xffffffff);
addr = vmalloc(nbytes);
/* On an x86 with >4GB of RAM, addr will be <4GB, but
__pa(addr) might be >4GB, and the system lacks
PCI address mapping harware. */

dma_addr = pci_map_single(pcidev, addr, nbytes, direction);
/* Uh oh! dma_addr may be >4GB and I might not have
PCI address mapping hardware! */
TELL_DEVICE_TO_DO_TRANSFER(dma_addr, nbytes);

Was this unclear in my proposed text or do I still misunderstand
some fact that you're trying to convey (if so, sorry if for apparently
being so dense about it)?

Adam J. Richter __ ______________ 4880 Stevens Creek Blvd, Suite 104 \ / San Jose, California 95129-1034
+1 408 261-6630 | g g d r a s i l United States of America
fax +1 408 261-6631 "Free Software For The Rest Of Us."
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