[Intel-wired-lan] igb driver can cause cache invalidation of non-owned memory?

Nikita Yushchenko nikita.yoush at cogentembedded.com
Mon Oct 10 12:27:47 UTC 2016

>> Hmm...  I'm not about device writing to memory.
> This absolutely is about whether the device wrote into the
> area or not.

Not only.
>> Sequence in igb driver is:
>> dma_map(full_page)
>>   <device writes here>
>> sync_to_cpu(half_page);
>> skb_add_rx_frag(skb, half_page);
>> napi_gro_receive(skb);
>>   ...
>> dma_unmap(full_page)
>> What I'm concerned about is - same area is first passed up to network
>> stack, and _later_ dma_unmap()ed.  Is this indeed safe?
> dma_unmap() should never write anything unless the device has
> meanwhile written to that chunk of memory.

dma_unmap() for DMA_FROM_DEVICE never writes whatever to memory,
regardless of what device did.

dma_unmap() for DMA_FROM_DEVICE ensures that data written to memory
by device (if any) is visible to CPU. Cache may contain stale data
for that memory region. To drop that from cache, dma_unmap() for
DMA_FROM_DEVICE does cache invalidation.

static void arm_dma_unmap_page(struct device *dev, dma_addr_t handle,
		size_t size, enum dma_data_direction dir, unsigned long attrs)
	if ((attrs & DMA_ATTR_SKIP_CPU_SYNC) == 0)
		__dma_page_dev_to_cpu(pfn_to_page(dma_to_pfn(dev, handle)),
				      handle & ~PAGE_MASK, size, dir);

static void __dma_page_dev_to_cpu(struct page *page, unsigned long off,
	size_t size, enum dma_data_direction dir)
	if (dir != DMA_TO_DEVICE) {
		outer_inv_range(paddr, paddr + size);

		dma_cache_maint_page(page, off, size, dir, dmac_unmap_area);

> If the device made no intervening writes into the area, dma_unmap()
> should not cause any data to be written to that area, period.

I'm not about writing.

I'm about just the opposite - dropping not-written data from cache.

- napi_gro_receive(skb) passes area to upper layers of the network stack,
- something in those layers - perhaps packet mangling or such - writes
  to the area,
- this write enters cache but does not end into memory immediately,
- at this moment, igb does dma_unmap(),
- write that was in cache but not yet in memory gets lost.

> In your example above, consider the case where the device never
> writes into the memory area after sync_to_cpu().  In that case
> there is nothing that dma_unmap() can possibly write.
> All the data has been synced

Non-synced data is write done by CPU executing upper layers of network stack,


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