RE: [RFC PATCH v3 2/5] pinctrl: add dt binding support for pinmux mappings

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Dong Aisheng-B29396 wrote at Thursday, December 22, 2011 1:18 AM:
> Stephen Warren wrote at Wednesday, December 21, 2011 8:39 AM:
> > Dong Aisheng wrote at Tuesday, December 20, 2011 10:41 AM:
> > > This patch provies a common API for driver to use to register pinmux
> > > mappings from dts file. It is needed for dt support.
> >
> > Dong,
> >
> > Thanks for providing a concrete binding to get discussion started. I had
> > intended to do this myself, but got side-tracked on other things.
> >
> > I'll comment exclusively on the documentation in this patch, since any changes
> > there will require the code to be changed.
> First, thanks for such a long and detailed comments.
> I spent some time to read and understood.
> > > diff --git a/Documentation/devicetree/bindings/pinctrl/pinctrl.txt
> > > +The pin control subsystem
> > > +
> > > +The pin control subsystem provides a common API to support parsing
> > > +pinmux mappings data from device tree. Each board dts file should
> > > +provide a device node of which all the child nodes are the corresponding
> > pinmux mappings.
> >
> > So, the binding you propose seems very reasonable from the point-of-view of the
> > Linux pinctrl subsystem. However, it violates basic device tree philosophy in a
> > few ways. Some background:
> >
> > Device tree is supposed to be a pure representation of hardware, not the
> > software that runs on it. This means a couple of things: (a) the nodes in the DT
> > generally match 1:1 with specific HW on the board (b) the design of the bindings
> > should be justifiable given HW datasheets without any reference to specific
> > operating systems or software driver design
> > (c) the DT should be useful to all operating systems that run on the HW; there
> > should be no "DT for Linux", "DT for FreeBSD", "DT for Windows".
> I'm not DT expert, but it looks reasonable and correct.

I'm not sure if you're saying that the original binding seems reasonable
or my comments seem reasonable.

> > Hence, I see a few problems with this binding:
> >
> > a) The binding is documented as being for the pinctrl subsystem, rather than for
> > pinmux hardware.
> Seems yes.
> > b) The top-level node ("imx6q-sabreauto-map" below) is not tied to any
> > particular piece of hardware (no compatible flag, not reg property etc.)
> My original purpose was that it was not a hw device node, it was just created for
> containing pin map information and referenced by a phandle in iomuxc deivce node
> like:
> iomuxc@020e0000 {
>         compatible = "fsl,imx6q-iomuxc";
>         reg = <0x020e0000 0x4000>;
>         fsl,pinmux-map = <&pinmux>;
> 	  ...
> }
> I could also make it as a sub node of iomuxc, but original design is that sub nodes of
> Ioxmuc are already representing each pinmux functions.
> To avoid conflict, I put the imx6q-sabreauto-map node out of iomuxc since a phandle
> (fsl,pinmux-map ) does the same work well.

You could have nested sub-nodes, say something like:

iomuxc@020e0000 {
    compatible = "fsl,imx6q-iomuxc";
    reg = <0x020e0000 0x4000>;
    fsl,pins {
        ... // fsl-specific pin properties
    fsl,groups {
        ... // fsl-specific group properties
    fsl,functions {
        ... // fsl-specific mux function properties
    pinmux-usage {
        // standardized pinmux "table" properties
        sd4 { // pin group name
            function = "sdio4"; // this function active on it

> For it's not a real hw device node, I was not aware of that DT has such restriction
> Before. So I may use it wrongly.
> But I have question that I did some research that it seemed not all the nodes in
> dts file are pure hw device node

Certainly there are exceptions; "describe only HW" is more of a general
principle rather than a completely unbreakable rule I think.

I think that pinmux usage is a concept that's very HW oriented and can
hopefully have a pure HW binding, rather than something too influenced
by the pinctrl SW.

> Like:
> Sound in arch/arm/boot/dts/tegra-harmony.dts.
>         sound {
>                 compatible = "nvidia,harmony-sound", "nvidia,tegra-wm8903";
>                 spkr-en-gpios = <&codec 2 0>;
>                 hp-det-gpios = <&gpio 178 0>;
>                 int-mic-en-gpios = <&gpio 184 0>;
>                 ext-mic-en-gpios = <&gpio 185 0>;
>         };
> I did not know how asoc to handle differenct devices binding like soc dai, pcm and machines,
> But machine device seems not a real hw device.

I'd still classify this as a pure HW description. While there certainly
isn't a single thing you can point at in the SoC or board that is the
sound card, a description of the components and wiring that makes up the
sound system certainly is a HW description. Note that the binding above
also isn't finished, and has been reworked a bit since then, although
the new one is conceptually very similar.

> Or even the chosen node:
> chosen {
>        bootargs = "vmalloc=192M video=tegrafb console=ttyS0,115200n8 root=/dev/mmcblk0p2 rw rootwait";
> };
> And I guess chosen is also Linux specific, right?

Yes, that's certainly SW-specific and an exception, and as you pointed
out below, there are some other exceptions.

My main point is that when we can design bindings that are purely HW
oriented we should, and when we can't, we should get as close as we can.

> Up to here I understand that your propose is co-locate pinmux Resource within device
> Node definitions and define pinmux maps in the iomuxc device node.
> (If I understand wrongly, please let me know)
> It's just like:
> Sdhci1: sdhci@1000 {
>     compatible = "...";
>     regs = <...>;
>     pinmux = <&pmx>;
>     pinmux-usage = {
>         // Some representation of the pins/groups/functions used
>         // by just this HW block.
>     };
> };
> iomuxc@020e0000 {
>     compatible = "fsl,imx6-pinmux";
>     usage {
>         sd4 {
>             dev = <&sdhci1>;
>         };
>         sd3 {
>             dev = <&sdhci2>;
>         };
>         ...
>     };
> };
> My concern is that would pass the effort to each driver to handle pinmux-usage.

See a little above for what I was thinking.

That said, we could  probably handle a standardized pinmux-usage property
in each driver without impacting each driver too much; it's just that the
core driver code, or the pinctrl code, would have to scan all device nodes
for this property and act on it, rather than the drivers for each node,
rather like regs/interrupts are handled by core code and converted to
device resources.

> The same question applies to clock and regulator: does each device need
> Define its clock and regulator properties?

Yes, in those cases I believe each device does contain a phandle to the
resources it uses.


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