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Based on kernel version 4.8. Page generated on 2016-10-06 23:18 EST.

1			The MSI Driver Guide HOWTO
2		Tom L Nguyen tom.l.nguyen@intel.com
3				10/03/2003
4		Revised Feb 12, 2004 by Martine Silbermann
5			email: Martine.Silbermann@hp.com
6		Revised Jun 25, 2004 by Tom L Nguyen
7		Revised Jul  9, 2008 by Matthew Wilcox <willy@linux.intel.com>
8			Copyright 2003, 2008 Intel Corporation
10	1. About this guide
12	This guide describes the basics of Message Signaled Interrupts (MSIs),
13	the advantages of using MSI over traditional interrupt mechanisms, how
14	to change your driver to use MSI or MSI-X and some basic diagnostics to
15	try if a device doesn't support MSIs.
18	2. What are MSIs?
20	A Message Signaled Interrupt is a write from the device to a special
21	address which causes an interrupt to be received by the CPU.
23	The MSI capability was first specified in PCI 2.2 and was later enhanced
24	in PCI 3.0 to allow each interrupt to be masked individually.  The MSI-X
25	capability was also introduced with PCI 3.0.  It supports more interrupts
26	per device than MSI and allows interrupts to be independently configured.
28	Devices may support both MSI and MSI-X, but only one can be enabled at
29	a time.
32	3. Why use MSIs?
34	There are three reasons why using MSIs can give an advantage over
35	traditional pin-based interrupts.
37	Pin-based PCI interrupts are often shared amongst several devices.
38	To support this, the kernel must call each interrupt handler associated
39	with an interrupt, which leads to reduced performance for the system as
40	a whole.  MSIs are never shared, so this problem cannot arise.
42	When a device writes data to memory, then raises a pin-based interrupt,
43	it is possible that the interrupt may arrive before all the data has
44	arrived in memory (this becomes more likely with devices behind PCI-PCI
45	bridges).  In order to ensure that all the data has arrived in memory,
46	the interrupt handler must read a register on the device which raised
47	the interrupt.  PCI transaction ordering rules require that all the data
48	arrive in memory before the value may be returned from the register.
49	Using MSIs avoids this problem as the interrupt-generating write cannot
50	pass the data writes, so by the time the interrupt is raised, the driver
51	knows that all the data has arrived in memory.
53	PCI devices can only support a single pin-based interrupt per function.
54	Often drivers have to query the device to find out what event has
55	occurred, slowing down interrupt handling for the common case.  With
56	MSIs, a device can support more interrupts, allowing each interrupt
57	to be specialised to a different purpose.  One possible design gives
58	infrequent conditions (such as errors) their own interrupt which allows
59	the driver to handle the normal interrupt handling path more efficiently.
60	Other possible designs include giving one interrupt to each packet queue
61	in a network card or each port in a storage controller.
64	4. How to use MSIs
66	PCI devices are initialised to use pin-based interrupts.  The device
67	driver has to set up the device to use MSI or MSI-X.  Not all machines
68	support MSIs correctly, and for those machines, the APIs described below
69	will simply fail and the device will continue to use pin-based interrupts.
71	4.1 Include kernel support for MSIs
73	To support MSI or MSI-X, the kernel must be built with the CONFIG_PCI_MSI
74	option enabled.  This option is only available on some architectures,
75	and it may depend on some other options also being set.  For example,
76	on x86, you must also enable X86_UP_APIC or SMP in order to see the
77	CONFIG_PCI_MSI option.
79	4.2 Using MSI
81	Most of the hard work is done for the driver in the PCI layer.  The driver
82	simply has to request that the PCI layer set up the MSI capability for this
83	device.
85	To automatically use MSI or MSI-X interrupt vectors, use the following
86	function:
88	  int pci_alloc_irq_vectors(struct pci_dev *dev, unsigned int min_vecs,
89			unsigned int max_vecs, unsigned int flags);
91	which allocates up to max_vecs interrupt vectors for a PCI device.  It
92	returns the number of vectors allocated or a negative error.  If the device
93	has a requirements for a minimum number of vectors the driver can pass a
94	min_vecs argument set to this limit, and the PCI core will return -ENOSPC
95	if it can't meet the minimum number of vectors.
97	The flags argument is used to specify which type of interrupt can be used
98	by the device and the driver (PCI_IRQ_LEGACY, PCI_IRQ_MSI, PCI_IRQ_MSIX).
99	A convenient short-hand (PCI_IRQ_ALL_TYPES) is also available to ask for
100	any possible kind of interrupt.  If the PCI_IRQ_AFFINITY flag is set,
101	pci_alloc_irq_vectors() will spread the interrupts around the available CPUs.
103	To get the Linux IRQ numbers passed to request_irq() and free_irq() and the
104	vectors, use the following function:
106	  int pci_irq_vector(struct pci_dev *dev, unsigned int nr);
108	Any allocated resources should be freed before removing the device using
109	the following function:
111	  void pci_free_irq_vectors(struct pci_dev *dev);
113	If a device supports both MSI-X and MSI capabilities, this API will use the
114	MSI-X facilities in preference to the MSI facilities.  MSI-X supports any
115	number of interrupts between 1 and 2048.  In contrast, MSI is restricted to
116	a maximum of 32 interrupts (and must be a power of two).  In addition, the
117	MSI interrupt vectors must be allocated consecutively, so the system might
118	not be able to allocate as many vectors for MSI as it could for MSI-X.  On
119	some platforms, MSI interrupts must all be targeted at the same set of CPUs
120	whereas MSI-X interrupts can all be targeted at different CPUs.
122	If a device supports neither MSI-X or MSI it will fall back to a single
123	legacy IRQ vector.
125	The typical usage of MSI or MSI-X interrupts is to allocate as many vectors
126	as possible, likely up to the limit supported by the device.  If nvec is
127	larger than the number supported by the device it will automatically be
128	capped to the supported limit, so there is no need to query the number of
129	vectors supported beforehand:
131		nvec = pci_alloc_irq_vectors(pdev, 1, nvec, PCI_IRQ_ALL_TYPES)
132		if (nvec < 0)
133			goto out_err;
135	If a driver is unable or unwilling to deal with a variable number of MSI
136	interrupts it can request a particular number of interrupts by passing that
137	number to pci_alloc_irq_vectors() function as both 'min_vecs' and
138	'max_vecs' parameters:
140		ret = pci_alloc_irq_vectors(pdev, nvec, nvec, PCI_IRQ_ALL_TYPES);
141		if (ret < 0)
142			goto out_err;
144	The most notorious example of the request type described above is enabling
145	the single MSI mode for a device.  It could be done by passing two 1s as
146	'min_vecs' and 'max_vecs':
148		ret = pci_alloc_irq_vectors(pdev, 1, 1, PCI_IRQ_ALL_TYPES);
149		if (ret < 0)
150			goto out_err;
152	Some devices might not support using legacy line interrupts, in which case
153	the driver can specify that only MSI or MSI-X is acceptable:
155		nvec = pci_alloc_irq_vectors(pdev, 1, nvec, PCI_IRQ_MSI | PCI_IRQ_MSIX);
156		if (nvec < 0)
157			goto out_err;
159	4.3 Legacy APIs
161	The following old APIs to enable and disable MSI or MSI-X interrupts should
162	not be used in new code:
164	  pci_enable_msi()		/* deprecated */
165	  pci_enable_msi_range()	/* deprecated */
166	  pci_enable_msi_exact()	/* deprecated */
167	  pci_disable_msi()		/* deprecated */
168	  pci_enable_msix_range()	/* deprecated */
169	  pci_enable_msix_exact()	/* deprecated */
170	  pci_disable_msix()		/* deprecated */
172	Additionally there are APIs to provide the number of supported MSI or MSI-X
173	vectors: pci_msi_vec_count() and pci_msix_vec_count().  In general these
174	should be avoided in favor of letting pci_alloc_irq_vectors() cap the
175	number of vectors.  If you have a legitimate special use case for the count
176	of vectors we might have to revisit that decision and add a
177	pci_nr_irq_vectors() helper that handles MSI and MSI-X transparently.
179	4.4 Considerations when using MSIs
181	4.4.1 Spinlocks
183	Most device drivers have a per-device spinlock which is taken in the
184	interrupt handler.  With pin-based interrupts or a single MSI, it is not
185	necessary to disable interrupts (Linux guarantees the same interrupt will
186	not be re-entered).  If a device uses multiple interrupts, the driver
187	must disable interrupts while the lock is held.  If the device sends
188	a different interrupt, the driver will deadlock trying to recursively
189	acquire the spinlock.  Such deadlocks can be avoided by using
190	spin_lock_irqsave() or spin_lock_irq() which disable local interrupts
191	and acquire the lock (see Documentation/DocBook/kernel-locking).
193	4.5 How to tell whether MSI/MSI-X is enabled on a device
195	Using 'lspci -v' (as root) may show some devices with "MSI", "Message
196	Signalled Interrupts" or "MSI-X" capabilities.  Each of these capabilities
197	has an 'Enable' flag which is followed with either "+" (enabled)
198	or "-" (disabled).
201	5. MSI quirks
203	Several PCI chipsets or devices are known not to support MSIs.
204	The PCI stack provides three ways to disable MSIs:
206	1. globally
207	2. on all devices behind a specific bridge
208	3. on a single device
210	5.1. Disabling MSIs globally
212	Some host chipsets simply don't support MSIs properly.  If we're
213	lucky, the manufacturer knows this and has indicated it in the ACPI
214	FADT table.  In this case, Linux automatically disables MSIs.
215	Some boards don't include this information in the table and so we have
216	to detect them ourselves.  The complete list of these is found near the
217	quirk_disable_all_msi() function in drivers/pci/quirks.c.
219	If you have a board which has problems with MSIs, you can pass pci=nomsi
220	on the kernel command line to disable MSIs on all devices.  It would be
221	in your best interests to report the problem to linux-pci@vger.kernel.org
222	including a full 'lspci -v' so we can add the quirks to the kernel.
224	5.2. Disabling MSIs below a bridge
226	Some PCI bridges are not able to route MSIs between busses properly.
227	In this case, MSIs must be disabled on all devices behind the bridge.
229	Some bridges allow you to enable MSIs by changing some bits in their
230	PCI configuration space (especially the Hypertransport chipsets such
231	as the nVidia nForce and Serverworks HT2000).  As with host chipsets,
232	Linux mostly knows about them and automatically enables MSIs if it can.
233	If you have a bridge unknown to Linux, you can enable
234	MSIs in configuration space using whatever method you know works, then
235	enable MSIs on that bridge by doing:
237	       echo 1 > /sys/bus/pci/devices/$bridge/msi_bus
239	where $bridge is the PCI address of the bridge you've enabled (eg
240	0000:00:0e.0).
242	To disable MSIs, echo 0 instead of 1.  Changing this value should be
243	done with caution as it could break interrupt handling for all devices
244	below this bridge.
246	Again, please notify linux-pci@vger.kernel.org of any bridges that need
247	special handling.
249	5.3. Disabling MSIs on a single device
251	Some devices are known to have faulty MSI implementations.  Usually this
252	is handled in the individual device driver, but occasionally it's necessary
253	to handle this with a quirk.  Some drivers have an option to disable use
254	of MSI.  While this is a convenient workaround for the driver author,
255	it is not good practice, and should not be emulated.
257	5.4. Finding why MSIs are disabled on a device
259	From the above three sections, you can see that there are many reasons
260	why MSIs may not be enabled for a given device.  Your first step should
261	be to examine your dmesg carefully to determine whether MSIs are enabled
262	for your machine.  You should also check your .config to be sure you
263	have enabled CONFIG_PCI_MSI.
265	Then, 'lspci -t' gives the list of bridges above a device.  Reading
266	/sys/bus/pci/devices/*/msi_bus will tell you whether MSIs are enabled (1)
267	or disabled (0).  If 0 is found in any of the msi_bus files belonging
268	to bridges between the PCI root and the device, MSIs are disabled.
270	It is also worth checking the device driver to see whether it supports MSIs.
271	For example, it may contain calls to pci_enable_msi_range() or
272	pci_enable_msix_range().
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