[Linaro-mm-sig] [RFC] Future TTM DMA direction

Thomas Hellstrom thellstrom at vmware.com
Mon Jan 9 11:01:28 UTC 2012

On 01/09/2012 11:11 AM, Daniel Vetter wrote:
> On Mon, Jan 09, 2012 at 10:37:28AM +0100, Thomas Hellstrom wrote:
>> Hi!
>> When TTM was originally written, it was assumed that GPU apertures
>> could address pages directly, and that the CPU could access those
>> pages without explicit synchronization. The process of binding a
>> page to a GPU translation table was a simple one-step operation, and
>> we needed to worry about fragmentation in the GPU aperture only.
>> Now that we "sort of" support DMA memory there are three things I
>> think are missing:
>> 1) We can't gracefully handle coherent DMA OOMs or coherent DMA
>> (Including CMA) memory fragmentation leading to failed allocations.
>> 2) We can't handle dynamic mapping of pages into and out of dma, and
>> corresponding IOMMU space shortage or fragmentation, and CPU
>> synchronization.
>> 3) We have no straightforward way of moving pages between devices.
>> I think a reasonable way to support this is to make binding to a
>> non-fixed (system page based) TTM memory type a two-step binding
>> process, so that a TTM placement consists of (DMA_TYPE, MEMORY_TYPE)
>> instead of only (MEMORY_TYPE).
>> In step 1) the bo is bound to a specific DMA type. These could be
>> for example:
>> (NONE, DYNAMIC, COHERENT, CMA), .... device dependent types could be
>> allowed as well.
>> In this step, we perform dma_sync_for_device, or allocate
>> dma-specific pages maintaining LRU lists so that if we receive a DMA
>> memory allocation OOM, we can unbind bo:s bound to the same DMA
>> type. Standard graphics cards would then, for example, use the NONE
>> DMA type when run on bare metal or COHERENT when run on Xen. A
>> "COHERENT" OOM condition would then lead to eviction of another bo.
>> (Note that DMA eviction might involve data copies and be costly, but
>> still better than failing).
>> Binding with the DYNAMIC memory type would mean that CPU accesses
>> are disallowed, and that user-space CPU page mappings might need to
>> be killed, with a corresponding sync_for_cpu if they are faulted in
>> again (perhaps on a page-by-page basis). Any attempt to bo_kmap() a
>> bo page bound to DYNAMIC DMA mapping should trigger a BUG.
>> In step 2) The bo is bound to the GPU in the same way it's done
>> today. Evicting from DMA will of course also trigger an evict from
>> GPU, but an evict from GPU will not trigger a DMA evict.
>> Making a bo "anonymous" and thus moveable between devices would then
>> mean binding it to the "NONE" DMA type.
>> Comments, suggestions?
> Well I think we need to solve outstanding issues in the dma_buf framework
> first. Currently dma_buf isn't really up to par to handle coherency
> between the cpu and devices and there's also not yet any way to handle dma
> address space fragmentation/exhaustion.
> I fear that if you jump ahead with improving the ttm support alone we
> might end up with something incompatible to the stuff dma_buf eventually
> will grow, resulting in decent amounts of wasted efforts.
> Cc'ed a bunch of relevant lists to foster input from people.


Thanks for your input. I think this is mostly orthogonal to dma_buf, and
really a way to adapt TTM to be DMA-api aware. That's currently done
within the TTM backends. CMA was mearly included as an example that
might not be relevant.

I haven't followed dma_buf that closely lately, but if it's growing from 
being just
a way to share buffer objects between devices to something providing 
also low-level
allocators with fragmentation prevention, there's definitely an overlap.
However, on the dma_buf meeting in Budapest there seemed to be little or 
no interest
in robust buffer allocation / fragmentation prevention although I 
remember bringing
it up to the point where I felt annoying :).

> For a starter you seem to want much more low-level integration with the
> dma api than existing users commonly need. E.g. if I understand things
> correctly drivers just call dma_alloc_coherent and the platform/board code
> then decides whether the device needs a contigious allocation from cma or
> whether something else is good, too (e.g. vmalloc for the cpu + iommu).
> Another thing is that I think doing lru eviction in case of dma address
> space exhaustion (or fragmentation) needs at least awereness of what's
> going on in the upper layers. iommus are commonly shared between devices
> and I presume that two ttm drivers sitting behind the same iommu and
> fighting over it's resources can lead to some hilarious outcomes.

A good point, I didn't think of that.

For TTM drivers sharing the same IOMMU it's really possible to make such 
LRU global,
(assuming IOMMU identity is available to the TTM-aware drivers), but unless
fragmentation prevention the way we use it for graphics drivers 
(allocate - submit - fence) ends
up in the IOMMU space management code, it's impossible to make this 
scheme system-wide.

> Cheers, Daniel



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