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introduce HAVE_EFFICIENT_UNALIGNED_ACCESS Kconfig symbol

In many cases, especially in networking, it can be beneficial to know at
compile time whether the architecture can do unaligned accesses efficiently.
This patch introduces a new Kconfig symbol

	HAVE_EFFICIENT_UNALIGNED_ACCESS

for that purpose and adds it to the powerpc and x86 architectures.  Also add
some documentation about alignment and networking, and especially one intended
use of this symbol.

Signed-off-by: Johannes Berg <johannes@sipsolutions.net>
Acked-by: Sam Ravnborg <sam@ravnborg.org>
Acked-by: Ingo Molnar <mingo@elte.hu> [x86 architecture part]
Cc: <linux-arch@vger.kernel.org>
Signed-off-by: Andrew Morton <akpm@linux-foundation.org>
Signed-off-by: Linus Torvalds <torvalds@linux-foundation.org>
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1 parent e0ce0da commit 58340a07c194e0aed7bc58b61ff24330bb2a409f @jmberg jmberg committed with torvalds Jul 25, 2008
Showing with 50 additions and 3 deletions.
  1. +29 −3 Documentation/unaligned-memory-access.txt
  2. +19 −0 arch/Kconfig
  3. +1 −0 arch/powerpc/Kconfig
  4. +1 −0 arch/x86/Kconfig
@@ -218,9 +218,35 @@ If use of such macros is not convenient, another option is to use memcpy(),
where the source or destination (or both) are of type u8* or unsigned char*.
Due to the byte-wise nature of this operation, unaligned accesses are avoided.
+
+Alignment vs. Networking
+========================
+
+On architectures that require aligned loads, networking requires that the IP
+header is aligned on a four-byte boundary to optimise the IP stack. For
+regular ethernet hardware, the constant NET_IP_ALIGN is used. On most
+architectures this constant has the value 2 because the normal ethernet
+header is 14 bytes long, so in order to get proper alignment one needs to
+DMA to an address which can be expressed as 4*n + 2. One notable exception
+here is powerpc which defines NET_IP_ALIGN to 0 because DMA to unaligned
+addresses can be very expensive and dwarf the cost of unaligned loads.
+
+For some ethernet hardware that cannot DMA to unaligned addresses like
+4*n+2 or non-ethernet hardware, this can be a problem, and it is then
+required to copy the incoming frame into an aligned buffer. Because this is
+unnecessary on architectures that can do unaligned accesses, the code can be
+made dependent on CONFIG_HAVE_EFFICIENT_UNALIGNED_ACCESS like so:
+
+#ifdef CONFIG_HAVE_EFFICIENT_UNALIGNED_ACCESS
+ skb = original skb
+#else
+ skb = copy skb
+#endif
+
--
-Author: Daniel Drake <dsd@gentoo.org>
+Authors: Daniel Drake <dsd@gentoo.org>,
+ Johannes Berg <johannes@sipsolutions.net>
With help from: Alan Cox, Avuton Olrich, Heikki Orsila, Jan Engelhardt,
-Johannes Berg, Kyle McMartin, Kyle Moffett, Randy Dunlap, Robert Hancock,
-Uli Kunitz, Vadim Lobanov
+Kyle McMartin, Kyle Moffett, Randy Dunlap, Robert Hancock, Uli Kunitz,
+Vadim Lobanov
View
@@ -27,6 +27,25 @@ config KPROBES
for kernel debugging, non-intrusive instrumentation and testing.
If in doubt, say "N".
+config HAVE_EFFICIENT_UNALIGNED_ACCESS
+ def_bool n
+ help
+ Some architectures are unable to perform unaligned accesses
+ without the use of get_unaligned/put_unaligned. Others are
+ unable to perform such accesses efficiently (e.g. trap on
+ unaligned access and require fixing it up in the exception
+ handler.)
+
+ This symbol should be selected by an architecture if it can
+ perform unaligned accesses efficiently to allow different
+ code paths to be selected for these cases. Some network
+ drivers, for example, could opt to not fix up alignment
+ problems with received packets if doing so would not help
+ much.
+
+ See Documentation/unaligned-memory-access.txt for more
+ information on the topic of unaligned memory accesses.
+
config KRETPROBES
def_bool y
depends on KPROBES && HAVE_KRETPROBES
@@ -112,6 +112,7 @@ config PPC
select HAVE_FTRACE
select HAVE_IDE
select HAVE_IOREMAP_PROT
+ select HAVE_EFFICIENT_UNALIGNED_ACCESS
select HAVE_KPROBES
select HAVE_ARCH_KGDB
select HAVE_KRETPROBES
View
@@ -28,6 +28,7 @@ config X86
select HAVE_FTRACE
select HAVE_KVM if ((X86_32 && !X86_VOYAGER && !X86_VISWS && !X86_NUMAQ) || X86_64)
select HAVE_ARCH_KGDB if !X86_VOYAGER
+ select HAVE_EFFICIENT_UNALIGNED_ACCESS
config ARCH_DEFCONFIG
string

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