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PAT (Page Attribute Table)

x86 Page Attribute Table (PAT) allows for setting the memory attribute at the
page level granularity. PAT is complementary to the MTRR settings which allows
for setting of memory types over physical address ranges. However, PAT is
more flexible than MTRR due to its capability to set attributes at page level
and also due to the fact that there are no hardware limitations on number of
such attribute settings allowed. Added flexibility comes with guidelines for
not having memory type aliasing for the same physical memory with multiple
virtual addresses.

PAT allows for different types of memory attributes. The most commonly used
ones that will be supported at this time are Write-back, Uncached,
Write-combined and Uncached Minus.


PAT APIs
--------

There are many different APIs in the kernel that allows setting of memory
attributes at the page level. In order to avoid aliasing, these interfaces
should be used thoughtfully. Below is a table of interfaces available,
their intended usage and their memory attribute relationships. Internally,
these APIs use a reserve_memtype()/free_memtype() interface on the physical
address range to avoid any aliasing.


-------------------------------------------------------------------
API                    |    RAM   |  ACPI,...  |  Reserved/Holes  |
-----------------------|----------|------------|------------------|
                       |          |            |                  |
ioremap                |    --    |    UC-     |       UC-        |
                       |          |            |                  |
ioremap_cache          |    --    |    WB      |       WB         |
                       |          |            |                  |
ioremap_nocache        |    --    |    UC-     |       UC-        |
                       |          |            |                  |
ioremap_wc             |    --    |    --      |       WC         |
                       |          |            |                  |
set_memory_uc          |    UC-   |    --      |       --         |
 set_memory_wb         |          |            |                  |
                       |          |            |                  |
set_memory_wc          |    WC    |    --      |       --         |
 set_memory_wb         |          |            |                  |
                       |          |            |                  |
pci sysfs resource     |    --    |    --      |       UC-        |
                       |          |            |                  |
pci sysfs resource_wc  |    --    |    --      |       WC         |
 is IORESOURCE_PREFETCH|          |            |                  |
                       |          |            |                  |
pci proc               |    --    |    --      |       UC-        |
 !PCIIOC_WRITE_COMBINE |          |            |                  |
                       |          |            |                  |
pci proc               |    --    |    --      |       WC         |
 PCIIOC_WRITE_COMBINE  |          |            |                  |
                       |          |            |                  |
/dev/mem               |    --    |  WB/WC/UC- |    WB/WC/UC-     |
 read-write            |          |            |                  |
                       |          |            |                  |
/dev/mem               |    --    |    UC-     |       UC-        |
 mmap SYNC flag        |          |            |                  |
                       |          |            |                  |
/dev/mem               |    --    |  WB/WC/UC- |    WB/WC/UC-     |
 mmap !SYNC flag       |          |(from exist-|  (from exist-    |
 and                   |          |  ing alias)|    ing alias)    |
 any alias to this area|          |            |                  |
                       |          |            |                  |
/dev/mem               |    --    |    WB      |       WB         |
 mmap !SYNC flag       |          |            |                  |
 no alias to this area |          |            |                  |
 and                   |          |            |                  |
 MTRR says WB          |          |            |                  |
                       |          |            |                  |
/dev/mem               |    --    |    --      |       UC-        |
 mmap !SYNC flag       |          |            |                  |
 no alias to this area |          |            |                  |
 and                   |          |            |                  |
 MTRR says !WB         |          |            |                  |
                       |          |            |                  |
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Advanced APIs for drivers
-------------------------
A. Exporting pages to users with remap_pfn_range, io_remap_pfn_range,
vm_insert_pfn

Drivers wanting to export some pages to userspace do it by using mmap
interface and a combination of
1) pgprot_noncached()
2) io_remap_pfn_range() or remap_pfn_range() or vm_insert_pfn()

With PAT support, a new API pgprot_writecombine is being added. So, drivers can
continue to use the above sequence, with either pgprot_noncached() or
pgprot_writecombine() in step 1, followed by step 2.

In addition, step 2 internally tracks the region as UC or WC in memtype
list in order to ensure no conflicting mapping.

Note that this set of APIs only works with IO (non RAM) regions. If driver
wants to export a RAM region, it has to do set_memory_uc() or set_memory_wc()
as step 0 above and also track the usage of those pages and use set_memory_wb()
before the page is freed to free pool.



Notes:

-- in the above table mean "Not suggested usage for the API". Some of the --'s
are strictly enforced by the kernel. Some others are not really enforced
today, but may be enforced in future.

For ioremap and pci access through /sys or /proc - The actual type returned
can be more restrictive, in case of any existing aliasing for that address.
For example: If there is an existing uncached mapping, a new ioremap_wc can
return uncached mapping in place of write-combine requested.

set_memory_[uc|wc] and set_memory_wb should be used in pairs, where driver will
first make a region uc or wc and switch it back to wb after use.

Over time writes to /proc/mtrr will be deprecated in favor of using PAT based
interfaces. Users writing to /proc/mtrr are suggested to use above interfaces.

Drivers should use ioremap_[uc|wc] to access PCI BARs with [uc|wc] access
types.

Drivers should use set_memory_[uc|wc] to set access type for RAM ranges.


PAT debugging
-------------

With CONFIG_DEBUG_FS enabled, PAT memtype list can be examined by

# mount -t debugfs debugfs /sys/kernel/debug
# cat /sys/kernel/debug/x86/pat_memtype_list
PAT memtype list:
uncached-minus @ 0x7fadf000-0x7fae0000
uncached-minus @ 0x7fb19000-0x7fb1a000
uncached-minus @ 0x7fb1a000-0x7fb1b000
uncached-minus @ 0x7fb1b000-0x7fb1c000
uncached-minus @ 0x7fb1c000-0x7fb1d000
uncached-minus @ 0x7fb1d000-0x7fb1e000
uncached-minus @ 0x7fb1e000-0x7fb25000
uncached-minus @ 0x7fb25000-0x7fb26000
uncached-minus @ 0x7fb26000-0x7fb27000
uncached-minus @ 0x7fb27000-0x7fb28000
uncached-minus @ 0x7fb28000-0x7fb2e000
uncached-minus @ 0x7fb2e000-0x7fb2f000
uncached-minus @ 0x7fb2f000-0x7fb30000
uncached-minus @ 0x7fb31000-0x7fb32000
uncached-minus @ 0x80000000-0x90000000

This list shows physical address ranges and various PAT settings used to
access those physical address ranges.

Another, more verbose way of getting PAT related debug messages is with
"debugpat" boot parameter. With this parameter, various debug messages are
printed to dmesg log.

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