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Documentation / powerpc / cpu_features.txt

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Based on kernel version 4.13.3. Page generated on 2017-09-23 13:55 EST.

1	Hollis Blanchard <hollis@austin.ibm.com>
2	5 Jun 2002
4	This document describes the system (including self-modifying code) used in the
5	PPC Linux kernel to support a variety of PowerPC CPUs without requiring
6	compile-time selection.
8	Early in the boot process the ppc32 kernel detects the current CPU type and
9	chooses a set of features accordingly. Some examples include Altivec support,
10	split instruction and data caches, and if the CPU supports the DOZE and NAP
11	sleep modes.
13	Detection of the feature set is simple. A list of processors can be found in
14	arch/powerpc/kernel/cputable.c. The PVR register is masked and compared with
15	each value in the list. If a match is found, the cpu_features of cur_cpu_spec
16	is assigned to the feature bitmask for this processor and a __setup_cpu
17	function is called.
19	C code may test 'cur_cpu_spec[smp_processor_id()]->cpu_features' for a
20	particular feature bit. This is done in quite a few places, for example
21	in ppc_setup_l2cr().
23	Implementing cpufeatures in assembly is a little more involved. There are
24	several paths that are performance-critical and would suffer if an array
25	index, structure dereference, and conditional branch were added. To avoid the
26	performance penalty but still allow for runtime (rather than compile-time) CPU
27	selection, unused code is replaced by 'nop' instructions. This nop'ing is
28	based on CPU 0's capabilities, so a multi-processor system with non-identical
29	processors will not work (but such a system would likely have other problems
30	anyways).
32	After detecting the processor type, the kernel patches out sections of code
33	that shouldn't be used by writing nop's over it. Using cpufeatures requires
34	just 2 macros (found in arch/powerpc/include/asm/cputable.h), as seen in head.S
35	transfer_to_handler:
39			mfspr	r22,SPRN_VRSAVE		/* if G4, save vrsave register value */
40			stw	r22,THREAD_VRSAVE(r23)
42		#endif /* CONFIG_ALTIVEC */
44	If CPU 0 supports Altivec, the code is left untouched. If it doesn't, both
45	instructions are replaced with nop's.
47	The END_FTR_SECTION macro has two simpler variations: END_FTR_SECTION_IFSET
48	and END_FTR_SECTION_IFCLR. These simply test if a flag is set (in
49	cur_cpu_spec[0]->cpu_features) or is cleared, respectively. These two macros
50	should be used in the majority of cases.
52	The END_FTR_SECTION macros are implemented by storing information about this
53	code in the '__ftr_fixup' ELF section. When do_cpu_ftr_fixups
54	(arch/powerpc/kernel/misc.S) is invoked, it will iterate over the records in
55	__ftr_fixup, and if the required feature is not present it will loop writing
56	nop's from each BEGIN_FTR_SECTION to END_FTR_SECTION.
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