[coreboot] how to implement variable read/write variable in coreboot

Melissa Yi huayi at celestica.com
Tue Oct 10 09:28:01 CEST 2017

Thank you very much for all your advice, especially for Nico, Felix, Peter


Melissa Yi

BIOS Lead Engineer
Celestica(Shanghai) R&D Center, China

Solid Partners, Flexible Solutions

2017-10-02 4:22 GMT+08:00 Felix Held <felix-coreboot at felixheld.de>:

> Hi Nico!
> The question I have here is what to do if there is more than one valid
>>> entry. Just using the first one introduces a bit of undetermined
>>> behavior (block order in the flash might be different after
>>> defragmentation).
>> No, always choosing the first would be determined behavior. In case we
>> keep things in order it's also the better choice when it comes to sear-
>> ching the current, valid entry (we'd have to always search the whole
>> used space for a newer version otherwise). I'd treat it like this: If
>> the old version wasn't invalidated, the update didn't finish. So we can
>> ignore the new version.
> I was assuming the ring buffer case here where the first entry in the raw
> flash address space doesn't have to be the oldest one.
> So either use some counter (beware of overflows!) on
>>> either the flash erase block (small overhead and rather efficient) or
>>> the entry (full region has to be either cached or read every time and
>>> needs more bytes than the counter per erase block) or accept the
>>> possibility of undetermined behavior (IMHO not a good idea).
>> I'm not sure how to use a per erase-block counter? When would it update?
>> we could only do that on every erase. A per variable counter might be
>> useful, but I still hope it will work without.
> I was thinking of putting a number in the first word of a block. Every
> time a new block is allocated, this value is written once. The value is the
> highest number already used plus 1. Also beware of wraparounds there.
> Might be done in a sanitation phase before each write. But if we define
>> the first entry to be the valid one, we probably don't need it. Update:
>> I didn't come around in my scheme below... maybe we should make the
>> update in three steps: tag for update, insert new value, invalidate.
>> This way we would only have to search for duplicates for valid entries
>> tagged for update.
> Good idea.
> Defragmentation:
> Haven't really looked at and thought about your defragmentation phase
> idea; maybe I'll comment on that next week.
> Regards
> Felix
> --
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