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    SubjectRe: IOMMU and scatterlist limits
    Tejun Heo wrote:
    > Pierre Ossman wrote:
    >> Revisiting a dear old thread. :)
    >> After some initial tests, some more questions popped up. See below.
    >> Jens Axboe wrote:
    >>> On Thu, Nov 17 2005, Pierre Ossman wrote:
    >>>> Since there is no guarantee this will be mapped down to one segment
    >>>> (that the hardware can accept), is it expected that the driver
    >>>> iterates
    >>>> over the entire list or can I mark only the first segment as completed
    >>>> and wait for the request to be reissued? (this is a MMC driver, which
    >>>> behaves like the block layer)
    >>> Ah MMC, that explains a few things :-)
    >>> It's quite legal (and possible) to partially handle a given request,
    >>> you
    >>> are not obliged to handle a request as a single unit. See how other
    >>> block drivers have an end request handling function ala:
    >> After testing this it seems the block layer never gives me more than
    >> max_hw_segs segments. Is it being clever because I'm compiling for a
    >> system without an IOMMU?
    >> The hardware should (haven't properly tested this) be able to get new
    >> DMA addresses during a transfer. In essence scatter gather with some CPU
    >> support. Since I avoid MMC overhead this should give a nice performance
    >> boost. But this relies on the block layer giving me more than one
    >> segment. Do I need to lie in max_hw_segs to achieve this?
    > Hi, Pierre.
    > max_phys_segments: the maximum number of segments in a request
    > *before* DMA mapping
    > max_hw_segments: the maximum number of segments in a request
    > *after* DMA mapping (ie. after IOMMU merging)
    > Those maximum numbers are for block layer. Block layer must not
    > exceed above limits when it passes a request downward. As long as all
    > entries in sg are processed, block layer doesn't care whether sg
    > iteration is performed by the driver or hardware.
    > So, if you're gonna perform sg by iterating in the driver, what
    > numbers to report for max_phys_segments and max_hw_segments is
    > entirely upto how many entries the driver can handle.
    > Just report some nice number (64 or 128?) for both. Don't forget that
    > the number of sg entries can be decreased after DMA-mapping on
    > machines with IOMMU.
    > IOW, the part which performs sg iteration gets to determine above
    > limits. In your case, the driver is reponsible for both iterations
    > (pre and post DMA mapping), so all the limits are upto the driver.

    I'm still a bit confused why the block layer needs to know the maximum
    number of hw segments. Different hardware might be connected to
    different IOMMU:s, so only the driver will now how much the number can
    be reduced. So the block layer should only care about not going above
    max_phys_segments, since that's what the driver has room for.

    What is the scenario that requires both?


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