[alsa-devel] [PATCH 1/7 v2] dmaengine: add a simple dma library

Guennadi Liakhovetski g.liakhovetski at gmx.de
Tue Jan 31 09:59:36 CET 2012

Hi Vinod

Thanks for your reply.

On Tue, 31 Jan 2012, Vinod Koul wrote:

> On Mon, 2012-01-30 at 10:34 +0100, Guennadi Liakhovetski wrote:
> > > I don't still comprehend the need for a library on top of dmaengine
> > > which gain is just a library between clients and dmacs. Surely we don't
> > > want to write another abstraction on top of one provided?
> > > 
> > > If the question is to handle scatter-gather even if the hardware doesn't
> > > have the capability, then why don't add that in dmaengine itself rather
> > > than one more layer?
> > 
> > Well, yes, adding new abstraction layers is always a decision, that has to 
> > be well justified. In this case it does at least make the life easier for 
> > two sh-mobile drivers: shdma and the new SUDMAC driver.
> > 
> > However, I did name the library in a generic way without reference to sh, 
> > assuming, that it might with time become useful for other architectures 
> > too. The reasons why I prefered to keep it as an optional addition to 
> > dmaengine core, instead of tightly integrating it with it are, that (1) I 
> > did not want to add useless code to drivers, that do not need it, 
> So are we sure that only sh-mobile drivers need this capablity?

If I was sure about that, I'd call the library shmobile-dma or something 

> Btw does you hardware only support single transfers and no sg support,

Well, the controller does have some repeat- and reload-modes, but they are 
currently not supported by the driver and from the documentation I cannot 
easily understand, how useful those modes could be to implement SG.

> would this remain the same in future?

Who knows?...

> > (2) I am 
> > not sure if and when this library will become useful for other drivers: 
> > apart from sh I am only familiar with one more dmaengine driver: 
> > ipu/ipu_idmac.c, and that one supports scatter-gather lists in a limited 
> > way and has some further peculiarities, that would likely make it a bad 
> > match for the simple DMA library,
> typically the dmacs will support this in some form or other, so your
> point is valid :)
> >  (3) keeping it separate makes its 
> > further development easier.
> > 
> > OTOH, I'm certainly fine with a tighter library integration with the 
> > dmaengine core. I think, it still would be better to keep it in a separate 
> > file and only build it if needed, right? This woult also simplify code 
> > debugging and further development. I can remove the "simple" notation, 
> > which does make it look like an additional abstraction layer, and replace 
> > it with, say, sgsoft (scatter-gather software implementation)?
> that would be more apt :)
> >  A more 
> > interesting question is what to do with struct dma_simple_dev, struct 
> > dma_simple_chan, struct dma_simple_desc, that embed struct dma_device, 
> > struct dma_chan and struct dma_async_tx_descriptor respectively. I don't 
> > think we want to merge all the additions from those wrapping structs back 
> > into their dmaengine counterparts?
> Sure they should be kept separate. I like the wrapping, this keeps it
> simple.
> > 
> > How would you like to do this? Don't you think, it would be good to allow 
> > both: either implement a dmaengine driver directly, exactly as all drivers 
> > are doing now, or use the additional helper library for suitable (simple) 
> > hardware types? I see it similar to I2C, where you either implement an I2C 
> > driver directly, or you use the bitbanging abstraction for simpler 
> > hardware.
> I think it would be good to have both, this can be used by folks who
> don't have sg support available.

Ok, so, should I just rename the driver to sgsoft? Is this the only 
change, that you'd like to see?

Guennadi Liakhovetski, Ph.D.
Freelance Open-Source Software Developer

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