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authorLinus Torvalds <torvalds@ppc970.osdl.org>2005-04-16 15:20:36 -0700
committerLinus Torvalds <torvalds@ppc970.osdl.org>2005-04-16 15:20:36 -0700
commit1da177e4c3f41524e886b7f1b8a0c1fc7321cac2 (patch)
tree0bba044c4ce775e45a88a51686b5d9f90697ea9d /Documentation/io_ordering.txt
Linux-2.6.12-rc2
Initial git repository build. I'm not bothering with the full history, even though we have it. We can create a separate "historical" git archive of that later if we want to, and in the meantime it's about 3.2GB when imported into git - space that would just make the early git days unnecessarily complicated, when we don't have a lot of good infrastructure for it. Let it rip!
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+On some platforms, so-called memory-mapped I/O is weakly ordered. On such
+platforms, driver writers are responsible for ensuring that I/O writes to
+memory-mapped addresses on their device arrive in the order intended. This is
+typically done by reading a 'safe' device or bridge register, causing the I/O
+chipset to flush pending writes to the device before any reads are posted. A
+driver would usually use this technique immediately prior to the exit of a
+critical section of code protected by spinlocks. This would ensure that
+subsequent writes to I/O space arrived only after all prior writes (much like a
+memory barrier op, mb(), only with respect to I/O).
+
+A more concrete example from a hypothetical device driver:
+
+ ...
+CPU A: spin_lock_irqsave(&dev_lock, flags)
+CPU A: val = readl(my_status);
+CPU A: ...
+CPU A: writel(newval, ring_ptr);
+CPU A: spin_unlock_irqrestore(&dev_lock, flags)
+ ...
+CPU B: spin_lock_irqsave(&dev_lock, flags)
+CPU B: val = readl(my_status);
+CPU B: ...
+CPU B: writel(newval2, ring_ptr);
+CPU B: spin_unlock_irqrestore(&dev_lock, flags)
+ ...
+
+In the case above, the device may receive newval2 before it receives newval,
+which could cause problems. Fixing it is easy enough though:
+
+ ...
+CPU A: spin_lock_irqsave(&dev_lock, flags)
+CPU A: val = readl(my_status);
+CPU A: ...
+CPU A: writel(newval, ring_ptr);
+CPU A: (void)readl(safe_register); /* maybe a config register? */
+CPU A: spin_unlock_irqrestore(&dev_lock, flags)
+ ...
+CPU B: spin_lock_irqsave(&dev_lock, flags)
+CPU B: val = readl(my_status);
+CPU B: ...
+CPU B: writel(newval2, ring_ptr);
+CPU B: (void)readl(safe_register); /* maybe a config register? */
+CPU B: spin_unlock_irqrestore(&dev_lock, flags)
+
+Here, the reads from safe_register will cause the I/O chipset to flush any
+pending writes before actually posting the read to the chipset, preventing
+possible data corruption.

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