[PATCH v2 1/7] drm/tegra: Add Tegra DRM allocation API

Thierry Reding thierry.reding at gmail.com
Wed Dec 14 14:39:12 UTC 2016

On Wed, Dec 14, 2016 at 03:01:56PM +0100, Lucas Stach wrote:
> Am Mittwoch, den 14.12.2016, 14:48 +0100 schrieb Thierry Reding:
> > On Wed, Dec 14, 2016 at 12:35:31PM +0100, Lucas Stach wrote:
> > > Am Mittwoch, den 14.12.2016, 13:16 +0200 schrieb Mikko Perttunen:
> > > > Add a new IO virtual memory allocation API to allow clients to
> > > > allocate non-GEM memory in the Tegra DRM IOMMU domain. This is
> > > > required e.g. for loading client firmware when clients are attached
> > > > to the IOMMU domain.
> > > > 
> > > > The allocator allocates contiguous physical pages that are then
> > > > mapped contiguously to the IOMMU domain using the iova_domain
> > > > library provided by the kernel. Contiguous physical pages are
> > > > used so that the same allocator works also when IOMMU support
> > > > is disabled and therefore devices access physical memory directly.
> > > > 
> > > Why is this needed? If you use the DMA API for those buffers you should
> > > end up with CMA memory in the !IOMMU case and normal paged memory with
> > > IOMMU enabled. From my understanding this should match the requirements.
> > 
> > We can't currently use the DMA API for these allocations because it
> > doesn't allow (or at least didn't back when this was first implemented)
> > us to share a mapping between two devices.
> Hm, maybe I'm overlooking something, but isn't this just a matter of
> allocating on one device, then constructing a SG list (dma_get_sgtable)
> from the buffer you got and use that to dma_map_sg() the buffer on the
> other device?

Yes, that would work. What I was referring to is sharing framebuffers
between multiple CRTCs. Back at the time when IOMMU support was first
added, I tried to use the DMA API. However, the problem with that was
that we would've had to effectively dma_map_sg() on every page-flip
since the buffer is imported into the DRM device, but there's no call
that would import it for each CRTC only once. So when the framebuffer
is added to a plane, you have to map it to the corresponding display
controller. And the dma_map_sg() was, if I recall correctly, on the
order of 5-10 ms, which is prohibitively expensive to do per frame.

It's also completely unnecessary because all CRTCs in a DRM device can
simply share the same IOMMU domain. I can't think of a reason why you
would want or need to use separate domains.

Back at the time this was something that the DMA API couldn't do, it
would simply assign a separate IOMMU domain per device. It's possible
that this has changed now given that many others must've run into the
same problem meanwhile.

> Maybe doing the firmware buffer allocation on host1x (with a 4GB upper
> bound) and then sharing the SG list to the devices?

That's pretty much what this API is doing. Only it's the other way
around: we don't share the SG list with other devices for mapping, we
simply reuse the same mapping across multiple devices, since they're
all in the same IOMMU domain.

> > The reason why we need these patches is that when IOMMU is enabled, then
> > the units' falcons will read memory through the IOMMU, so we must have
> > allocations for GEM buffers and the firmware go through the same
> > mechanism.
> Sorry for maybe dumb questions.
> Do you have any engines other than the GPU that can handle SG
> themselves?

No, I don't think so.

> Wouldn't you want the GEM objects to be backed by CMA in the !MMU
> case?

That's exactly what's happening already. If no IOMMU is available we
allocate buffer objects backing store with dma_alloc_wc().

> How are ordinary GEM objects different from the falcon firmware?

They're not. I think we could probably reuse more of the BO allocation
functions for the firmware as well. I think Mikko already agreed to look
into that. We might have to add some special cases, or split up the
helpers a little differently to avoid creating GEM objects from the
firmware buffers. We wouldn't want userspace to start mmap()'ing those.

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