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SubjectRe: ARM unaligned MMIO access with attribute((packed))
On Wed, Feb 02, 2011 at 05:00:20PM +0100, Arnd Bergmann wrote:
> I would suggest fixing this by:
> 1. auditing all uses of __attribute__((packed)) in the Linux USB code
> and other drivers, removing the ones that are potentially harmful.
> 2. Changing the ARM MMIO functions to use inline assembly instead of
> direct pointer dereference.
> 3. Documenting the gcc behavior as undefined.

We used to use inline assembly at one point, but that got chucked out.
The problem is that using asm() for this causes GCC to generate horrid

1. there's no way to tell GCC that the inline assembly is a load
instruction and therefore it needs to schedule the following
instructions appropriately.

2. GCC will needlessly reload pointers from structures and other such
behaviour because it can't be told clearly what the inline assembly
is doing, so the inline asm needs to have a "memory" clobber.

3. It seems to misses out using the pre-index addressing, prefering to
create add/sub instructions prior to each inline assembly load/store.

4. There are no (documented) constraints in GCC to allow you to represent
the offset format for the half-word instructions.

Overall, it means greater register pressure, more instructions, larger
functions, greater instruction cache pressure, etc.

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