Monday, June 7, 2010

GSoC Weekly Report #3

Weekly Report #3
Submitted on 2010-06-07
Covers 2010-06-01 to 2010-06-07
Corresponding Draft Schedule Item:
Familiarize with DSP/BIOS Link and its various modules. Experiment with GPP-DSP communication and compilation processes to identify potential issues and useful features. Review existing RPC protocols and create one suitable for DSP-GPP communication over DSP/BIOS Link.

Status and Accomplishments
  • more experimentation with DSP/Link APIs and general reading especially for the DSP side arch — I feel confident and comfortable enough to seriously start working
  • studied the C6RunLib source code for inspiration on RPC calls and got some — but I still have doubts on implementing the exact same system, see issues section below
  • experimented with some GPP-side tasks which can be of use for the RPC framework such as passing a variable number of parameters to functions and methods for dynamic and static linking to dynamic link libraries
  • did some basic RPC tests using the existing C6RunApp writemsg/readmsg architecture, all went well (nothing fancy — was mainly for the purpose of testing my understanding of how things work)
  • looked for existing statistics and similar documentation on which POSIX functions are the most commonly used without any luck...decided to follow a C standard library reference documentation and start with the simpler functions, see plans and tasks section below
Plans and Tasks
  • finalize and make a working draft of the RPC system — possibly without dynamic loading on the GPP side at this stage, which can be added later on
  • finalize blog post on C6RunApp architecture and how DSP-RPC-POSIX fits in — hoping that increasing awareness will stir more interest
  • write the first wrapper(s) for the DSP side, starting with noncomplex (in terms of having a constant number of basic non-pointer parameters) functions (e.g putchar())
  • experiment a little with possibilities of user-friendly features such as checking and auto loading of kernel modules at program startup and catching Ctrl-C signals to perform DSP side cleanup before exiting
Risks, issues, blockers
  • I want the RPC system to eventually work with any user-defined GPP side function (not just C I/O) without much hassle, and I believe dynamic library loading will be necessary for this (ie, given the function name, parameter type list and library name, be able to locate the function and call it on the GPP side). I realize this can be done by preprocessing the source code and adding the function defs before compiling but I'm curious if it can be done at runtime as well. C6RunLib uses this preprocessing method (via perl scripts) but in that case we provide and therefore have access to source code of all the possible RPC fxns anyway
  • Memory issues continued: Is it a really good idea to do RPC GPP calls for functions that take pointers as parameters and modify the pointer data, like malloc() and memset() ? They're already present and working in the DSP RTS libs, so is it necessary? If so, we could do address translation before calling the actual GPP side function, can we ensure that the memory is mutually accessible by the processors by doing all allocation from POOL buffers? The issue eventually extends to any function that takes a pointer parameter.. I'd appreciate some broader-perspective views on this subject.

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