Monday, June 14, 2010

GSoC Weekly Report #4

Weekly Report #4
Submitted on 2010-06-14
Covers 2010-06-07 to 2010-06-14
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
  • My exchange period in Sweden ended and I had to move back to Turkey, so couldn't really get as much work done as I'd like to, but now I have access my evil scientist laboratory headquarters :) I'll be based here for the rest of the summer.
  • I now have an RPC implementation for DSP->GPP calls, composed of four parts: DSP-side function stubs, DSP-side marshaller/unmarshaller and transport functions, GPP side marshaller/unmarshaller and transport functions, and GPP side stubs/invokers. No dynamic loading on the GPP side, the invocation is a simple static jump table and there's no support for pointer parameters but it works fine otherwise.
  • had some time to play around with kernel module loading. didn't really discover anything groundbreaking, but noticed that C6Run doesn't work with the *.ko's that came with my Ångström. probably version differences which won't be an issue if one builds C6Run libraries and the distro itself using OpenEmbedded, but in the other case we could have a config file on the Beagle which points to the appropriate module filenames, and load these ones at startup instead.
Plans and Tasks
  • right now the stubs are doing most of the work for marshalling, this will make it difficult to add new RPC functions in the future. have a marshaller that can pack variable number of parameters into the data, I've already have had some success with this. I'm planning to have a string "function signature" for each stub, and feed this along with all the parameters to the marshaller. bad idea? should each stub keep doing its own packing to increase efficiency?
  • passing pointer parameters is still a big issue due to memory sharing, we have to make sure that any direct memory pointers are mutually accessible after address translation, look into this.
  • finalize and commit my initial group of DSP-side wrappers with integer parameters and return types (mostly is*() functions from ctype.h)
Risks, issues, blockers
  • Memory issues still here: C6RunLib can utilize the CMEM interface to get DSP-GPP shareable contiguous memory regions, but there is no CMEM on the DSP side - what'll be the cure for this? force allocating everything from POOL buffers if they are to be passed as RPC parameters? set the DSP linker parameters to allocate the heap from a pre-determined shared region and do the address translation manually? copy and back-copy the DSP-side buffers manually into/out of the message buffers during marshalling and unmarshalling (but how do we know the size of a void* buffer, for example?)? 

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