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Writing SBUS Drivers
David S. Miller (
The SBUS driver interfaces of the Linux kernel have been
revamped completely for 2.4.x for several reasons. Foremost were
performance and complexity concerns. This document details these
new interfaces and how they are used to write an SBUS device driver.
SBUS drivers need to include <asm/sbus.h> to get access
to functions and structures described here.
Probing and Detection
Each SBUS device inside the machine is described by a
structure called "struct sbus_dev". Likewise, each SBUS bus
found in the system is described by a "struct sbus_bus". For
each SBUS bus, the devices underneath are hung in a tree-like
fashion off of the bus structure.
The SBUS device structure contains enough information
for you to implement your device probing algorithm and obtain
the bits necessary to run your device. The most commonly
used members of this structure, and their typical usage,
will be detailed below.
Here is how probing is performed by an SBUS driver
under Linux:
static void init_one_mydevice(struct sbus_dev *sdev)
static int mydevice_match(struct sbus_dev *sdev)
if (some_criteria(sdev))
return 1;
return 0;
static void mydevice_probe(void)
struct sbus_bus *sbus;
struct sbus_dev *sdev;
for_each_sbus(sbus) {
for_each_sbusdev(sdev, sbus) {
if (mydevice_match(sdev))
All this does is walk through all SBUS devices in the
system, checks each to see if it is of the type which
your driver is written for, and if so it calls the init
routine to attach the device and prepare to drive it.
"init_one_mydevice" might do things like allocate software
state structures, map in I/O registers, place the hardware
into an initialized state, etc.
Mapping and Accessing I/O Registers
Each SBUS device structure contains an array of descriptors
which describe each register set. We abuse struct resource for that.
They each correspond to the "reg" properties provided by the OBP firmware.
Before you can access your device's registers you must map
them. And later if you wish to shutdown your driver (for module
unload or similar) you must unmap them. You must treat them as
a resource, which you allocate (map) before using and free up
(unmap) when you are done with it.
The mapping information is stored in an opaque value
typed as an "unsigned long". This is the type of the return value
of the mapping interface, and the arguments to the unmapping
interface. Let's say you want to map the first set of registers.
Perhaps part of your driver software state structure looks like:
struct mydevice {
unsigned long control_regs;
struct sbus_dev *sdev;
At initialization time you then use the sbus_ioremap
interface to map in your registers, like so:
static void init_one_mydevice(struct sbus_dev *sdev)
struct mydevice *mp;
mp->control_regs = sbus_ioremap(&sdev->resource[0], 0,
CONTROL_REGS_SIZE, "mydevice regs");
if (!mp->control_regs) {
/* Failure, cleanup and return. */
Second argument to sbus_ioremap is an offset for
cranky devices with broken OBP PROM. The sbus_ioremap uses only
a start address and flags from the resource structure.
Therefore it is possible to use the same resource to map
several sets of registers or even to fabricate a resource
structure if driver gets physical address from some private place.
This practice is discouraged though. Use whatever OBP PROM
provided to you.
And here is how you might unmap these registers later at
driver shutdown or module unload time, using the sbus_iounmap
static void mydevice_unmap_regs(struct mydevice *mp)
sbus_iounmap(mp->control_regs, CONTROL_REGS_SIZE);
Finally, to actually access your registers there are 6
interface routines at your disposal. Accesses are byte (8 bit),
word (16 bit), or longword (32 bit) sized. Here they are:
u8 sbus_readb(unsigned long reg) /* read byte */
u16 sbus_readw(unsigned long reg) /* read word */
u32 sbus_readl(unsigned long reg) /* read longword */
void sbus_writeb(u8 value, unsigned long reg) /* write byte */
void sbus_writew(u16 value, unsigned long reg) /* write word */
void sbus_writel(u32 value, unsigned long reg) /* write longword */
So, let's say your device has a control register of some sort
at offset zero. The following might implement resetting your device:
#define CONTROL 0x00UL
#define CONTROL_RESET 0x00000001 /* Reset hardware */
static void mydevice_reset(struct mydevice *mp)
sbus_writel(CONTROL_RESET, mp->regs + CONTROL);
Or perhaps there is a data port register at an offset of
16 bytes which allows you to read bytes from a fifo in the device:
#define DATA 0x10UL
static u8 mydevice_get_byte(struct mydevice *mp)
return sbus_readb(mp->regs + DATA);
It's pretty straightforward, and clueful readers may have
noticed that these interfaces mimick the PCI interfaces of the
Linux kernel. This was not by accident.
DO NOT try to treat these opaque register mapping
values as a memory mapped pointer to some structure
which you can dereference.
It may be memory mapped, it may not be. In fact it
could be a physical address, or it could be the time
of day xor'd with 0xdeadbeef. :-)
Whatever it is, it's an implementation detail. The
interface was done this way to shield the driver
author from such complexities.
Doing DVMA
SBUS devices can perform DMA transactions in a way similar
to PCI but dissimilar to ISA, e.g. DMA masters supply address.
In contrast to PCI, however, that address (a bus address) is
translated by IOMMU before a memory access is performed and therefore
it is virtual. Sun calls this procedure DVMA.
Linux supports two styles of using SBUS DVMA: "consistent memory"
and "streaming DVMA". CPU view of consistent memory chunk is, well,
consistent with a view of a device. Think of it as an uncached memory.
Typically this way of doing DVMA is not very fast and drivers use it
mostly for control blocks or queues. On some CPUs we cannot flush or
invalidate individual pages or cache lines and doing explicit flushing
over ever little byte in every control block would be wasteful.
Streaming DVMA is a preferred way to transfer large amounts of data.
This process works in the following way:
1. a CPU stops accessing a certain part of memory,
flushes its caches covering that memory;
2. a device does DVMA accesses, then posts an interrupt;
3. CPU invalidates its caches and starts to access the memory.
A single streaming DVMA operation can touch several discontiguous
regions of a virtual bus address space. This is called a scatter-gather
[TBD: Why do not we neither Solaris attempt to map disjoint pages
into a single virtual chunk with the help of IOMMU, so that non SG
DVMA masters would do SG? It'd be very helpful for RAID.]
In order to perform a consistent DVMA a driver does something
like the following:
char *mem; /* Address in the CPU space */
u32 busa; /* Address in the SBus space */
mem = (char *) sbus_alloc_consistent(sdev, MYMEMSIZE, &busa);
Then mem is used when CPU accesses this memory and u32
is fed to the device so that it can do DVMA. This is typically
done with an sbus_writel() into some device register.
Do not forget to free the DVMA resources once you are done:
sbus_free_consistent(sdev, MYMEMSIZE, mem, busa);
Streaming DVMA is more interesting. First you allocate some
memory suitable for it or pin down some user pages. Then it all works
like this:
char *mem = argumen1;
unsigned int size = argument2;
u32 busa; /* Address in the SBus space */
*mem = 1; /* CPU can access */
busa = sbus_map_single(sdev, mem, size);
if (busa == 0) .......
/* Tell the device to use busa here */
/* CPU cannot access the memory without sbus_dma_sync_single() */
sbus_unmap_single(sdev, busa, size);
if (*mem == 0) .... /* CPU can access again */
It is possible to retain mappings and ask the device to
access data again and again without calling sbus_unmap_single.
However, CPU caches must be invalidated with sbus_dma_sync_single
before such access.
[TBD but what about writeback caches here... do we have any?]
There is an equivalent set of functions doing the same thing
only with several memory segments at once for devices capable of
scatter-gather transfers. Use the Source, Luke.
This is a complicated driver which illustrates many concepts
discussed above and plus it handles both PCI and SBUS boards.
Check it out for scatter-gather DVMA.
A non-DVMA device.
Lance driver abuses consistent mappings for data transfer.
It is a nifty trick which we do not particularly recommend...
Just check it out and know that it's legal.
Bad examples, do NOT use
This one uses result of sbus_ioremap as if it is an address.
This does NOT work on sparc64 and therefore is broken. We will
convert it at a later date.