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SubjectRe: [RFC v3 0/2] Introduce DMA buffer sharing mechanism
On Mon, Dec 19, 2011 at 02:03:28PM +0530, Sumit Semwal wrote:
> Hello Everyone,
> This is RFC v3 for DMA buffer sharing mechanism - changes from v2 are in the
> changelog below.
> Various subsystems - V4L2, GPU-accessors, DRI to name a few - have felt the
> need to have a common mechanism to share memory buffers across different
> devices - ARM, video hardware, GPU.
> This need comes forth from a variety of use cases including cameras, image
> processing, video recorders, sound processing, DMA engines, GPU and display
> buffers, and others.
> This RFC is an attempt to define such a buffer sharing mechanism- it is the
> result of discussions from a couple of memory-management mini-summits held by
> Linaro to understand and address common needs around memory management. [1]
> A new dma_buf buffer object is added, with operations and API to allow easy
> sharing of this buffer object across devices.
> The framework allows:
> - a new buffer-object to be created with fixed size.
> - different devices to 'attach' themselves to this buffer, to facilitate
> backing storage negotiation, using dma_buf_attach() API.
> - association of a file pointer with each user-buffer and associated
> allocator-defined operations on that buffer. This operation is called the
> 'export' operation.
> - this exported buffer-object to be shared with the other entity by asking for
> its 'file-descriptor (fd)', and sharing the fd across.
> - a received fd to get the buffer object back, where it can be accessed using
> the associated exporter-defined operations.
> - the exporter and user to share the scatterlist using map_dma_buf and
> unmap_dma_buf operations.
> Documentation present in the patch-set gives more details.
> This is based on design suggestions from many people at the mini-summits,
> most notably from Arnd Bergmann <>, Rob Clark <> and
> Daniel Vetter <>.
> The implementation is inspired from proof-of-concept patch-set from
> Tomasz Stanislawski <>, who demonstrated buffer sharing
> between two v4l2 devices. [2]
> References:
> [1]:
> [2]:
> Patchset based on top of 3.2-rc3, the current version can be found at
> Branch: dma-buf-upstr-v2
> Earlier versions:
> v2 at:
> v1 at:
> Best regards,
> ~Sumit Semwal

I think this is a really good v1 version of dma_buf. It contains all the
required bits (with well-specified semantics in the doc patch) to
implement some basic use-cases and start fleshing out the integration with
various subsystem (like drm and v4l). All the things still under
discussion like
- userspace mmap support
- more advanced (and more strictly specified) coherency models
- and shared infrastructure for implementing exporters
are imo much clearer once we have a few example drivers at hand and a
better understanding of some of the insane corner cases we need to be able
to handle.

And I think any risk that the resulting clarifications will break a basic
use-case is really minimal, so I think it'd be great if this could go into
3.3 (maybe as some kind of staging/experimental infrastructure).

Hence for both patches:
Reviewed-by: Daniel Vetter <>
Daniel Vetter
Mobile: +41 (0)79 365 57 48

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