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SubjectRe: WWAN Controller Framework (was IPA [PATCH v2 00/17])
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On Mon, 2019-06-24 at 11:30 -0500, Alex Elder wrote:
> OK I want to try to organize a little more concisely some of the
> discussion on this, because there is a very large amount of volume
> to date and I think we need to try to narrow the focus back down
> again.
>
> I'm going to use a few terms here. Some of these I really don't
> like, but I want to be unambiguous *and* (at least for now) I want
> to avoid the very overloaded term "device".
>
> I have lots more to say, but let's start with a top-level picture,
> to make sure we're all on the same page.
>
> WWAN Communication
> Channel (Physical)
> | ------------------------
> ------------ v | :+ Control | \
> > |-----------| :+ Data | |
> > AP | | WWAN unit :+ Voice | > Functions
> > |===========| :+ GPS | |
> ------------ ^ | :+ ... | /
> | -------------------------
> Multiplexed WWAN
> Communication
> Channel (Physical)
>
> - The *AP* is the main CPU complex that's running Linux on one or
> more CPU cores.
> - A *WWAN unit* is an entity that shares one or more physical
> *WWAN communication channels* with the AP.

You could just say "WWAN modem" here.

> - A *WWAN communication channel* is a bidirectional means of
> carrying data between the AP and WWAN unit.
> - A WWAN communication channel carries data using a *WWAN protocol*.
> - A WWAN unit implements one or more *WWAN functions*, such as
> 5G data, LTE voice, GPS, and so on.

Go more generic here. Not just 5G data but any WWAN IP-based data
(GPRS, EDGE, CDMA, UMTS, EVDO, LTE, 5G, etc). And not just LTE voice
but any voice data; plenty of devices don't support LTE but still have
"WWAN logical communication channels"

> - A WWAN unit shall implement a *WWAN control function*, used to
> manage the use of other WWAN functions, as well as the WWAN unit
> itself.
> - The AP communicates with a WWAN function using a WWAN protocol.
> - A WWAN physical channel can be *multiplexed*, in which case it
> carries the data for one or more *WWAN logical channels*.

It's unclear to me what "physical" means here. USB Interface or
Endpoint or PCI Function or SMD channel? Or kernel TTY device?

For example on Qualcomm-based USB dongles a given USB Interface's
Endpoint represents a QMAP "IP data" channel which itself could be
multiplexed into separate "IP data" channels. Or that USB Endpoint(s)
could be exposed as a TTY which itself can be MUX-ed dynamically using
GSM 07.10.

To me "physical" usually means the bus type (PCI, USB, SMD, whatever).
A Linux hardware driver (IPA, qmi_wwan, option, sierra, etc) binds to
that physical entity using hardware IDs (USB or PCI VID/PID, devicetree
properties) and exposes some "WWAN logical communication channels".
Those logical channels might be multiplexed and another driver (rmnet)
could handle exposing the de-muxed logical channels that the muxed
logical channel carries.

> - A multiplexed WWAN communication channel uses a *WWAN wultiplexing
> protocol*, which is used to separate independent data streams
> carrying other WWAN protocols.
> - A WWAN logical channel carries a bidirectional stream of WWAN
> protocol data between an entity on the AP and a WWAN function.

It *usually* is bidirectional. For example some GPS logical
communication channels just start spitting out NMEA when you give the
control function a command. The NMEA ports themselves don't accept any
input.

> Does that adequately represent a very high-level picture of what
> we're trying to manage?

Yes, pretty well. Thanks for trying to specify it all.

> And if I understand it right, the purpose of the generic framework
> being discussed is to define a common mechanism for managing (i.e.,
> discovering, creating, destroying, querying, configuring, enabling,
> disabling, etc.) WWAN units and the functions they implement, along
> with the communication and logical channels used to communicate with
> them.

Yes.

Dan

> Comments?
>
> -Alex

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