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SubjectRe: [PATCH v3 3/5] clk: introduce the common clock framework
Hi Mike

a few brief comments.

On Wed, 30 Nov 2011, Turquette, Mike wrote:

> Likewise when a clk is requested to transition to a new frequency it
> will have to clear it with all of the clks below it, so there is still
> a need to propagate a request throughout the clk tree whenever
> clk_set_rate is called and take a decision.
>
> One way to solve this is for driver owners to sprinkle their code with
> clk_block_rate_change and clk_allow_rate_change as you propose.
> There is a problem with this method if it is not supplemented with
> rate-change notifications that drivers are allowed to handle
> asynchronously.

I don't think notifiers have a bearing on clk_get_rate().

> In this case it would be nice to have asynchronous notifiers that can
> interrupt the MMC driver with a pre-change notifier and say "please
> finish your current transaction, stall your next transaction, and then
> return so I can change your clk rate". Then after the clk rate change
> occurs a post-change notification would also go out to the MMC driver
> saying "ok I'm done changing rates. here is your new clk rate and
> please continue working". The notification is very polite.

I haven't made any comments about clock notifiers yet, because my
comments so far have only concerned clk_get_rate() and
clk_get_parent().

Clock rate/parent-change notifiers are requirements for DVFS use-cases,
and they must be paired with something like the
clk_{allow,block}_rate_change() functions to work efficiently. I intend
to comment on this later; it's not a simple problem. It might be worth
noting that Tero and I implemented a simplified version of this for the
N900.
> It is worth nothing that the MMC driver can return NOTIFY_STOP in it's
> pre-change notification handler and this effectively does the same
> thing as traversing the clk subtree and checking to make sure that
> nobody is holding clk_block_rate_change against any of the children
> clocks.
>
> The point of all of that text above is to say: if we have to walk the
> whole clk subtree below the point where we want to change rates AND we
> want to make a dynamic case-by-case call on whether to allow the rate
> change to happen (as opposed to contending with the allow/block
> semantics) then I think that only having notifications will suffice.

That would not be good. A notifier implementation without something like
clk_{allow,block}_rate_change() is going to waste a lot of CPU time making
pointless calls into the notifier chains by whatever is attempting to do
top-down DVFS.
With clk_{allow,block}_rate_change(), only a single comparison is needed
to determine whether or not the rate change can succeed. A
blocking clk_set_rate() variant could also be efficiently implemented with
that information, if so desired.
In general, a clock rate change notifier should almost never return
NOTIFY_STOP. That should only happen if some event occurred that took
place after the notifier chain started.

> > 3. For the above changes to work, the clock framework will need to
> > discriminate between different clock users' calls to clock functions like
> > clk_{get,set}_rate(), etc.  Luckily this should be possible within the
> > current clock interface.  clk_get() can allocate and return a new struct
> > clk that clk_put() can later free.  One useful side effect of doing this
> > is that the clock framework could catch unbalanced clk_{enable,disable}()
> > calls.
>
> This is definitely worth thinking about. Another way to accomplish
> this is stop treating prepare_count and enable_count as scalars and
> instead vectorize them by tracking a list of struct device *'s.

To return to my original comments on clk_get_rate(): how would this allow
the clock framework to discriminate between callers of clk_get_rate()?
(Or indeed any clock framework function?) Or is your comment simply
addressing the unbalanced clk_{enable,disable}() case?
> > 4. clk_get_rate() must return an error when it's called in situations
> > where the caller hasn't ensured that the clock's rate won't be changed by
> > other entities.  For non-fixed rate clocks, these forbidden sections would
> > include code between a clk_get() and a clk_enable(), or between a
> > clk_disable() and a clk_put() or clk_enable(), or between a
> > clk_allow_rate_changes() and clk_block_rate_changes().  The first and
> > second of those three cases will require some code auditing of
> > clk_get_rate() users to ensure that they are only calling it after they've
> > enabled the clock.  And presumably most of them are not checking for
> > error.  include/linux/clk.h doesn't define an error return value, so this
> > needs to be explicitly defined in clk.h.
>
> This adds a lot of burden to a driver that just wants to know a rate.
> Especially if that purpose is for something as simple/transient as a
> pr_debug message or something.

Could you clarify what burden are you referring to?

The above protocol requires few (if any) changes to existing clock
framework users. So for example, the following code:

c = clk_get(dev, clk_name);
clk_enable(c);
rate = clk_get_rate(c);

would still continue to work, since the rate would be guaranteed not to
change after the clk_enable(). However, the (unsafe):

c = clk_get(dev, clk_name);
rate = clk_get_rate(c);

would need to be modified to become safe, by adding a
clk_block_rate_change() before the clk_get_rate().


- Paul
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