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+ MEMORY ATTRIBUTE ALIASING ON IA-64
+ Bjorn Helgaas
+ May 4, 2006
+ Itanium supports several attributes for virtual memory references.
+ The attribute is part of the virtual translation, i.e., it is
+ contained in the TLB entry. The ones of most interest to the Linux
+ kernel are:
+ WB Write-back (cacheable)
+ UC Uncacheable
+ WC Write-coalescing
+ System memory typically uses the WB attribute. The UC attribute is
+ used for memory-mapped I/O devices. The WC attribute is uncacheable
+ like UC is, but writes may be delayed and combined to increase
+ performance for things like frame buffers.
+ The Itanium architecture requires that we avoid accessing the same
+ page with both a cacheable mapping and an uncacheable mapping.
+ The design of the chipset determines which attributes are supported
+ on which regions of the address space. For example, some chipsets
+ support either WB or UC access to main memory, while others support
+ only WB access.
+ Platform firmware describes the physical memory map and the
+ supported attributes for each region. At boot-time, the kernel uses
+ the EFI GetMemoryMap() interface. ACPI can also describe memory
+ devices and the attributes they support, but Linux/ia64 currently
+ doesn't use this information.
+ The kernel uses the efi_memmap table returned from GetMemoryMap() to
+ learn the attributes supported by each region of physical address
+ space. Unfortunately, this table does not completely describe the
+ address space because some machines omit some or all of the MMIO
+ regions from the map.
+ The kernel maintains another table, kern_memmap, which describes the
+ memory Linux is actually using and the attribute for each region.
+ This contains only system memory; it does not contain MMIO space.
+ The kern_memmap table typically contains only a subset of the system
+ memory described by the efi_memmap. Linux/ia64 can't use all memory
+ in the system because of constraints imposed by the identity mapping
+ The efi_memmap table is preserved unmodified because the original
+ boot-time information is required for kexec.
+KERNEL IDENTITY MAPPINGS
+ Linux/ia64 identity mappings are done with large pages, currently
+ either 16MB or 64MB, referred to as "granules." Cacheable mappings
+ are speculative, so the processor can read any location in the
+ page at any time, independent of the programmer's intentions. This
+ means that to avoid attribute aliasing, Linux can create a cacheable
+ identity mapping only when the entire granule supports cacheable
+ Therefore, kern_memmap contains only full granule-sized regions that
+ can referenced safely by an identity mapping.
+ Uncacheable mappings are not speculative, so the processor will
+ generate UC accesses only to locations explicitly referenced by
+ software. This allows UC identity mappings to cover granules that
+ are only partially populated, or populated with a combination of UC
+ and WB regions.
+ User mappings are typically done with 16K or 64K pages. The smaller
+ page size allows more flexibility because only 16K or 64K has to be
+ homogeneous with respect to memory attributes.
+POTENTIAL ATTRIBUTE ALIASING CASES
+ There are several ways the kernel creates new mappings:
+ mmap of /dev/mem
+ This uses remap_pfn_range(), which creates user mappings. These
+ mappings may be either WB or UC. If the region being mapped
+ happens to be in kern_memmap, meaning that it may also be mapped
+ by a kernel identity mapping, the user mapping must use the same
+ attribute as the kernel mapping.
+ If the region is not in kern_memmap, the user mapping should use
+ an attribute reported as being supported in the EFI memory map.
+ Since the EFI memory map does not describe MMIO on some
+ machines, this should use an uncacheable mapping as a fallback.
+ mmap of /sys/class/pci_bus/.../legacy_mem
+ This is very similar to mmap of /dev/mem, except that legacy_mem
+ only allows mmap of the one megabyte "legacy MMIO" area for a
+ specific PCI bus. Typically this is the first megabyte of
+ physical address space, but it may be different on machines with
+ several VGA devices.
+ "X" uses this to access VGA frame buffers. Using legacy_mem
+ rather than /dev/mem allows multiple instances of X to talk to
+ different VGA cards.
+ The /dev/mem mmap constraints apply.
+ mmap of /proc/bus/pci/.../??.?
+ This is an MMIO mmap of PCI functions, which additionally may or
+ may not be requested as using the WC attribute.
+ If WC is requested, and the region in kern_memmap is either WC
+ or UC, and the EFI memory map designates the region as WC, then
+ the WC mapping is allowed.
+ Otherwise, the user mapping must use the same attribute as the
+ kernel mapping.
+ read/write of /dev/mem
+ This uses copy_from_user(), which implicitly uses a kernel
+ identity mapping. This is obviously safe for things in
+ There may be corner cases of things that are not in kern_memmap,
+ but could be accessed this way. For example, registers in MMIO
+ space are not in kern_memmap, but could be accessed with a UC
+ mapping. This would not cause attribute aliasing. But
+ registers typically can be accessed only with four-byte or
+ eight-byte accesses, and the copy_from_user() path doesn't allow
+ any control over the access size, so this would be dangerous.
+ This returns a mapping for use inside the kernel.
+ If the region is in kern_memmap, we should use the attribute
+ specified there.
+ If the EFI memory map reports that the entire granule supports
+ WB, we should use that (granules that are partially reserved
+ or occupied by firmware do not appear in kern_memmap).
+ If the granule contains non-WB memory, but we can cover the
+ region safely with kernel page table mappings, we can use
+ ioremap_page_range() as most other architectures do.
+ Failing all of the above, we have to fall back to a UC mapping.
+PAST PROBLEM CASES
+ mmap of various MMIO regions from /dev/mem by "X" on Intel platforms
+ The EFI memory map may not report these MMIO regions.
+ These must be allowed so that X will work. This means that
+ when the EFI memory map is incomplete, every /dev/mem mmap must
+ succeed. It may create either WB or UC user mappings, depending
+ on whether the region is in kern_memmap or the EFI memory map.
+ mmap of 0x0-0x9FFFF /dev/mem by "hwinfo" on HP sx1000 with VGA enabled
+ The EFI memory map reports the following attributes:
+ 0x00000-0x9FFFF WB only
+ 0xA0000-0xBFFFF UC only (VGA frame buffer)
+ 0xC0000-0xFFFFF WB only
+ This mmap is done with user pages, not kernel identity mappings,
+ so it is safe to use WB mappings.
+ The kernel VGA driver may ioremap the VGA frame buffer at 0xA0000,
+ which uses a granule-sized UC mapping. This granule will cover some
+ WB-only memory, but since UC is non-speculative, the processor will
+ never generate an uncacheable reference to the WB-only areas unless
+ the driver explicitly touches them.
+ mmap of 0x0-0xFFFFF legacy_mem by "X"
+ If the EFI memory map reports that the entire range supports the
+ same attributes, we can allow the mmap (and we will prefer WB if
+ supported, as is the case with HP sx000 machines with VGA
+ If EFI reports the range as partly WB and partly UC (as on sx000
+ machines with VGA enabled), we must fail the mmap because there's no
+ safe attribute to use.
+ If EFI reports some of the range but not all (as on Intel firmware
+ that doesn't report the VGA frame buffer at all), we should fail the
+ mmap and force the user to map just the specific region of interest.
+ mmap of 0xA0000-0xBFFFF legacy_mem by "X" on HP sx1000 with VGA disabled
+ The EFI memory map reports the following attributes:
+ 0x00000-0xFFFFF WB only (no VGA MMIO hole)
+ This is a special case of the previous case, and the mmap should
+ fail for the same reason as above.
+ read of /sys/devices/.../rom
+ For VGA devices, this may cause an ioremap() of 0xC0000. This
+ used to be done with a UC mapping, because the VGA frame buffer
+ at 0xA0000 prevents use of a WB granule. The UC mapping causes
+ an MCA on HP sx000 chipsets.
+ We should use WB page table mappings to avoid covering the VGA
+ frame buffer.
+  SDM rev 2.2, vol 2, sec 4.4.1.
+  SDM rev 2.2, vol 2, sec 4.4.6.