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Subject[PATCH] mmc: documentation of mmc non-blocking request usage and design.
Documentation about the background and the design of mmc non-blocking.
Host driver guide lines to minimize request preparation over head.

Signed-off-by: Per Forlin <>
Documentation/mmc/00-INDEX | 2 +
Documentation/mmc/mmc-async-req.txt | 85 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
2 files changed, 87 insertions(+), 0 deletions(-)
create mode 100644 Documentation/mmc/mmc-async-req.txt

diff --git a/Documentation/mmc/00-INDEX b/Documentation/mmc/00-INDEX
index 93dd7a7..11bc2cf 100644
--- a/Documentation/mmc/00-INDEX
+++ b/Documentation/mmc/00-INDEX
@@ -4,3 +4,5 @@ mmc-dev-attrs.txt
- info on SD and MMC device attributes
- info on SD and MMC device partitions
+ - info on mmc asynchronous request
diff --git a/Documentation/mmc/mmc-async-req.txt b/Documentation/mmc/mmc-async-req.txt
new file mode 100644
index 0000000..d139a51
--- /dev/null
+++ b/Documentation/mmc/mmc-async-req.txt
@@ -0,0 +1,85 @@
+How significant is the cache maintenance over head?
+It depends, fast eMMC and multiple cache levels with speculative cache pre-fetch
+makes the cache overhead relatively significant. If the DMA preparations
+for the next request is done in parallel to the current transfer
+the DMA preparation overhead would not affect the MMC performance.
+The intention of non-blocking (asynchronous) mmc requests is to minimize the
+time between a mmc request ends and another mmc request begins.
+Using mmc_wait_for_req() the MMC controller is idle when dma_map_sg and
+dma_unmap_sg is processing. Using non-blocking mmc request makes it
+possible to prepare the caches for next job in parallel to an active
+mmc request.
+MMC block driver
+The issue_rw_rq() in the mmc block driver is made non-blocking.
+The increase in throughput is proportional to the time it takes to
+prepare (major part of preparations is dma_map_sg and dma_unmap_sg)
+a request and how fast the memory is. The faster the MMC/SD is
+the more significant the prepare request time becomes. Roughly the expected
+performance gain is 5% for large writes and 10% on large reads on a L2 cache
+platform. In power save mode, when clocks run on a lower frequency, the DMA
+preparation may cost even more. As long as these slower preparations are run
+in parallel to the transfer performance wont be affected.
+Details on measurements from IOZone and mmc_test
+MMC core API extension
+There is one new public function mmc_start_req()
+Is starts a new MMC command request for a host. The function isn't
+truely non-blocking. If there is on ongoing async request it waits
+for completion of that request and starts the new one and return. It
+Doesn't wait for the new request to complete. If there is no ongoing
+request it starts the new request and returns immediately.
+MMC host extensions
+There are two optional hooks pre_req() and post_req() that the host driver
+may implement in order to move work to before and after the actual mmc_request
+function is called. In the DMA case pre_req() may do dma_map_sg() and prepare
+the dma descriptor, and post_req runs the dma_unmap_sg.
+Optimize for the first request
+The first request in a series of requests can't be prepared in parallel to the
+previous transfer, since there is no previous request.
+The argument is_first_req in pre_req() indicates that there is no previous
+request. The host driver may optimize for this scenario to minimize
+the performance loss. A way to optimize for this is to split the current
+request in two chunks, prepare the first chunk and start the request,
+and finally prepare the second chunk and start the transfer.
+Pseudocode to handle is_first_req scenario with minimal prepare over head:
+if (is_first_req && req->size > threshold)
+ /* start MMC transfer for the complete transfer size */
+ mmc_start_command(MMC_CMD_TRANSFER_FULL_SIZE)
+ /*
+ * Begin to prepare DMA while cmd is being processed by MMC.
+ * The first chunk of the request should take the same time
+ * to prepare as the "MMC process command time".
+ * If prepare time exceeds MMC cmd time
+ * the transfer is delayed, guesstimate max 4k as first chunk size.
+ */
+ prepare_1st_chunk_for_dma(req)
+ /* flush pending desc to the DMAC (dmaengine.h) */
+ dma_issue_pending(req->dma_desc);
+ prepare_2st_chunk_for_dma(req)
+ /*
+ * The second issue_pending should be called before MMC runs out
+ * of the first chunk. If the MMC runs out of the first data chunk before
+ * this call, the transfer is delayed.
+ */
+ dma_issue_pending(req->dma_desc);

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