[PATCH 01/12] dma-buf: add dynamic caching of sg_table

Daniel Vetter daniel at ffwll.ch
Thu May 23 11:32:53 UTC 2019

On Thu, May 23, 2019 at 1:30 PM Daniel Vetter <daniel at ffwll.ch> wrote:
> On Thu, May 23, 2019 at 1:21 PM Koenig, Christian
> <Christian.Koenig at amd.com> wrote:
> >
> > Am 22.05.19 um 20:30 schrieb Daniel Vetter:
> > > [SNIP]
> > >> Well, it seems you are making incorrect assumptions about the cache
> > >> maintenance of DMA-buf here.
> > >>
> > >> At least for all DRM devices I'm aware of mapping/unmapping an
> > >> attachment does *NOT* have any cache maintenance implications.
> > >>
> > >> E.g. the use case you describe above would certainly fail with amdgpu,
> > >> radeon, nouveau and i915 because mapping a DMA-buf doesn't stop the
> > >> exporter from reading/writing to that buffer (just the opposite actually).
> > >>
> > >> All of them assume perfectly coherent access to the underlying memory.
> > >> As far as I know there is no documented cache maintenance requirements
> > >> for DMA-buf.
> > > I think it is documented. It's just that on x86, we ignore that
> > > because the dma-api pretends there's never a need for cache flushing
> > > on x86, and that everything snoops the cpu caches. Which isn't true
> > > since over 20 ago when AGP happened. The actual rules for x86 dma-buf
> > > are very much ad-hoc (and we occasionally reapply some duct-tape when
> > > cacheline noise shows up somewhere).
> >
> > Well I strongly disagree on this. Even on x86 at least AMD GPUs are also
> > not fully coherent.
> >
> > For example you have the texture cache and the HDP read/write cache. So
> > when both amdgpu as well as i915 would write to the same buffer at the
> > same time we would get a corrupted data as well.
> >
> > The key point is that it is NOT DMA-buf in it's map/unmap call who is
> > defining the coherency, but rather the reservation object and its
> > attached dma_fence instances.
> >
> > So for example as long as a exclusive reservation object fence is still
> > not signaled I can't assume that all caches are flushed and so can't
> > start with my own operation/access to the data in question.
> The dma-api doesn't flush device caches, ever. It might flush some
> iommu caches or some other bus cache somewhere in-between. So it also
> won't ever make sure that multiple devices don't trample on each
> another. For that you need something else (like reservation object,
> but I think that's not really followed outside of drm much).
> The other bit is the coherent vs. non-coherent thing, which in the
> dma-api land just talks about whether cpu/device access need extra
> flushing or not. Now in practice that extra flushing is always only
> cpu side, i.e. will cpu writes/reads go through the cpu cache, and
> will device reads/writes snoop the cpu caches. That's (afaik at least,
> an in practice, not the abstract spec) the _only_ thing dma-api's
> cache maintenance does. For 0 copy that's all completely irrelevant,
> because as soon as you pick a mode where you need to do manual cache
> management you've screwed up, it's not 0-copy anymore really.
> The other hilarious stuff is that on x86 we let userspace (at least
> with i915) do that cache management, so the kernel doesn't even have a
> clue. I think what we need in dma-buf (and dma-api people will scream
> about the "abstraction leak") is some notition about whether an
> importer should snoop or not (or if that device always uses non-snoop
> or snooped transactions). But that would shred the illusion the
> dma-api tries to keep up that all that matters is whether a mapping is
> coherent from the cpu's pov or not, and you can achieve coherence both
> with a cache cpu mapping + snooped transactions, or with wc cpu side
> and non-snooped transactions. Trying to add cache managment (which
> some dma-buf exporter do indeed attempt to) will be even worse.
> Again, none of this is about preventing concurrent writes, or making
> sure device caches are flushed correctly around batches.

btw I just grepped for reservation_object, no one outside of
drivers/gpu is using that. So for device access synchronization
everyone else is relying on userspace ordering requests correctly on
its own. Iirc v4l/media is pondering adding dma-fence support, but
that's not going anywhere.

Also, for correctness reservations aren't needed, we allow explicit
syncing userspace to managed dma-fences/drm_syncobj on their own, and
they are allowed to get this wrong.
Daniel Vetter
Software Engineer, Intel Corporation
+41 (0) 79 365 57 48 - http://blog.ffwll.ch

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