[SeaBIOS] [PATCH 1/2] Add QEMU fw_cfg DMA interface

Laszlo Ersek lersek at redhat.com
Thu Aug 6 16:15:57 CET 2015

On 08/06/15 14:35, Stefan Hajnoczi wrote:
> On Thu, Aug 6, 2015 at 12:02 PM, Marc Marí <markmb at redhat.com> wrote:
>> +    if (qemu_cfg_dma_enabled()) {
>> +        QemuCfgDmaAccess access;
>> +
>> +        access.address = (u64)(u32)buf;
>> +        access.length = len;
>> +        access.control = QEMU_CFG_DMA_CTL_READ;
>> +
>> +        /*
>> +         * The out is done before the write of the variables on memory. This
>> +         * causes misread on the QEMU side.
>> +         */
>> +        barrier();
>> +
>> +        outl((u32)&access, PORT_QEMU_CFG_DMA_ADDR);
> I thought PORT_QEMU_CFG_DMA_ADDR is a 64-bit register according to the
> spec you posted?
>> +        while(access.length != 0 && !(access.control & QEMU_CFG_DMA_CTL_ERROR));
> Either the field accesses need to be marked volatile, or a barrier is
> needed to force the compiler to reload these register from memory each
> iteration of the loop.

Better yet, I would recommend declaring (and here, also defining)
"access" as "volatile".

  volatile QemuCfgDmaAccess access;

> I think the problem is that there are no "sequence points" (according
> to the C language specification) in this loop, so the compiler may
> assume that access.length and access.control will not change.
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sequence_point

The loop does contain sequence points; three in total.

Appendix C of the ISO C spec gives an informative summary on the
sequence points (with references to the individual normative passages).
Quoting from appendix C:

  1 The following are the sequence points described in


    - The end of the first operand of the following operators: logical
      AND && (6.5.13); [...]


    - The end of a full expression: [...] the expression in an
      expression statement (6.8.3); [...] the controlling expression of
      a while or do statement (6.8.5); [...]

- Here we have the controlling expression of a while statement.
- In that expression, we also have a logical AND operator.
- And the null statement in the loop body is an expression statement.

The lack of sequence points is not the problem (we do have sequence
points). The problem is that without "volatile", the compiler might
optimize out the accesses, because it deduces that the expressions
produce no side effects. Program execution


  2 Accessing a volatile object, [...] are all side effects, which are
    changes in the state of the execution environment. Evaluation of an
    expression may produce side effects. At certain specified points in
    the execution sequence called sequence points, all side effects of
    previous evaluations shall be complete and no side effects of
    subsequent evaluations shall have taken place. [...]

  3 In the abstract machine, all expressions are evaluated as specified
    by the semantics. An actual implementation need not evaluate part
    of an expression if it can deduce that its value is not used and
    that no needed side effects are produced (including any caused by
    calling a function or accessing a volatile object).


  5 The least requirements on a conforming implementation are:

    - At sequence points, volatile objects are stable in the sense that
      previous accesses are complete and subsequent accesses have not
      yet occurred. [...]


  6.7.3 Type qualifiers


  6 An object that has volatile-qualified type may be modified in ways
    unknown to the implementation or have other unknown side effects.
    Therefore any expression referring to such an object shall be
    evaluated strictly according to the rules of the abstract machine,
    as described in Furthermore, at every sequence point the
    value last stored in the object shall agree with that prescribed by
    the abstract machine, except as modified by the unknown factors
    mentioned previously. [footnote 116] What constitutes an access to
    an object that has volatile-qualified type is implementation-

Footnote 116 (informative):

  A volatile declaration may be used to describe an object
  corresponding to a memory-mapped input/output port or an object
  accessed by an asynchronously interrupting function. Actions on
  objects so declared shall not be "optimized out" by an implementation
  or reordered except as permitted by the rules for evaluating

So, this covers both the initial population of "access", and the later

(If "access" is declared "volatile", then even the current barrier() can
be removed, which is otherwise

src/types.h:#define barrier() __asm__ __volatile__("": : :"memory")

ie. a compiler barrier.)


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