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SubjectRe: [PATCH 01/16] hpsa: do readl after writel in main i/o path to ensure commands don't get lost.
On Wed, May 04, 2011 at 01:54:22PM -0400, wrote:
> On Wed, 04 May 2011 11:37:35 MDT, Matthew Wilcox said:
> > > This probably needs a comment like
> > > /* don't care - dummy read just to force write posting to chipset */
> > > or similar. I'm assuming it's just functioning as a barrier-type flush of some sort?
> >
> > It's a PCI write flush. It's not clear to me why it's needed here,
> > though. The write will eventually get to the device; why we need to
> > make the CPU wait around for it to actually get there doesn't make sense.
> Exactly why I think it needs a one-liner comment. :)
So we're not exactly sure why it's needed either. We've had reports of
commands getting "lost" or "stuck" under some workloads. The extra readl
works around the issue but certainly may have negative side effects.

I'm not sure I understand how writel works.

From linux-2.6/arch/x86/include/asm/io.h:

#define build_mmio_write(name, size, type, reg, barrier) \
static inline void name(type val, volatile void __iomem *addr) \
{ asm volatile("mov" size " %0,%1": :reg (val), \
"m" (*(volatile type __force *)addr) barrier); }

This implies (at least to me) that a barrier is part of writel. I don't know
why a write operation needs a barrier but thats essentially what we've done
by adding the extra readl. Can someone confirm or deny that a barrier is
actually built into writel? Or used by writel? If so, does this indicate
that barrier is broken?

At this point we (the software guys) are pretty much at a loss as to how to
continue debugging. We don't know what to trigger on for the PCIe analyzer.
If we track outstanding commands then trigger on one that doesn't complete in
some amount of time the problem could conceivably be far in the past and
difficult to correlate to the data in the trace.

If anyone has any thoughts, suggestions, or flames they would be greatly

-- mikem

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