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SubjectRe: [RFC PATCH v1] irqchip: add support for SMP irq router
Hi Sebastian,

On Wed, Jul 06, 2016 at 01:37:21PM +0200, Sebastian Frias wrote:
> On 07/05/2016 06:16 PM, Jason Cooper wrote:
> >> Come to think of it, I'm not sure the *name* of the file documenting
> >> a binding is as important to DT maintainers as the compatible string.
> >
> > Correct. devicetee compatible strings need to be as specific as
> > possible.
>
> Specific with respect to what thing? To the HW module they are describing
> (USB, IRQ controller, etc.) or to the chip the HW module it is embedded
> into?

The compatible string uniquely identifies an interface between an IP
block and the software (the devicetree binding). We use the most
specific model number or name we can for that IP block when we create
the binding and the compatible string.

If future SoCs come out and the IP block contained within, regardless of
identifier, is compatible with the existing binding, then we can reuse
it. This is what I was trying to show with my little chart quoted
below.

For ethernet and other major blocks it's easy because they have their
own model numbers and such. For the smaller blocks, like irqchips, we
have to use the model number or unique name of the SoC we first found it
in.

> >In a series of compatible IP blocks, the string should refer
> > to the first version in the series, e.g. sigma,smp8710 for a series of
> > compatible IP blocks like 8710, 8712, 8715, 8724. If an 8751 came along
> > with a different register layout or some other incompatibility, then a
> > new string would be sigma,smp8751. So,
> >
> > 8710 uses "sigma,smp8710"
> > 8712 uses "sigma,smp8710"
> > 8715 uses "sigma,smp8710"
> > 8724 uses "sigma,smp8710"
> > 8751 uses "sigma,smp8751"
> > 8754 uses "sigma,smp8751"
> >
>
> But this is not consistent with the strings for generic drivers, like
> "generic-xhci", etc.

True. I've not dealt with xhci/dt at all. My guess would be that there
are a lot of xhci chips whose interfaces conform to specification.
Those that do can just use "generic-xhci".

> A SoC is composed of several HW modules, some are shared among different
> manufacturers (i.e.: "generic-xhci"), and some are shared among different
> product lines of the same manufacturer (i.e.: "sigma,smp,irqrouter").

Yes, that's why it's critical to be specific. We want to reuse drivers
where it makes sense. We can if the interface is the same.

> And the DT for a given chip should describe the collection of HW modules
> that make up the SoC, regardless of what chip introduced them or what
> other chip uses it. Why would that be relevant anyway?

Because the first time we see a new IP block, we can't predict the
future. We don't know where it's going to be reused. We don't know
when it's going to be changed, or how. So we mark it as specifically as
we can based on the information we have when we first encounter it.

When a new version comes out, we see if the interface is still
compatible. If it is, there's nothing to do. If it changed, we see if
we can address it by adding a property to the existing binding. Failing
that, we create a new compatible string to indicate a new interface.

> By that reasoning, I also think that drivers/net/ethernet/aurora/nb8800.c
> should have had a string like "aurora,nb8800,sigma" or something, to
> specify that it is a NB8800 from Aurora integrated in a Sigma platform.

The fact that it is in the Sigma dts file tells this already. Based on
the above, did the interface change when adding it to the sigma
platform? Can the binding be reused?

> That way it can behave as vanilla NB8800 when the string is "aurora,nb8800"
> and it can adapt its behaviour to Sigma's platform when a different string
> (like "aurora,nb8800,sigma") is used in the DT.

I would have to look at the specifics of "adapt its behaviour" in order
to determine wether a new compatible is warranted, or maybe just add a
property to the binding.

> Later if Sigma modified the nb8800 HW, it could be "aurora,nb8800,sigma-v2".
> The same way, if later Sigma used a different Aurora HW module, the DT
> would say "aurora,nb2000,sigma" (to signal that another driver is required)

The compatible string is important, but we try not to overload it.
There are many flexible ways we can indicate properties or quirks in the
binding.

> Instead, drivers/net/ethernet/aurora/nb8800.c has "sigma,smp8642-ethernet"
> string, which ties it to a particular chip, and I don't see how does that
> convey version about the module or other relevant information; Plus it is
> confusing if the same module is then embedded on a SMP8756 chip.

Sorry, it's just understood that the compatible string means they have
the same binding/interface.

> Would you mind explaining how does that contrasts with the logic used
> by DT naming conventions?

I think you may be looking at DT the wrong way :-P It's not an
inventory of components for the end user to look at. It a list of
hardware interfaces and how they're attached; for the OS to interpret
and use.

hth,

Jason.

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