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Re: [RFC PATCH v3 1/5] ppc64: Add semihosting support

From: Nicholas Piggin
Subject: Re: [RFC PATCH v3 1/5] ppc64: Add semihosting support
Date: Thu, 21 Apr 2022 19:56:14 +1000

Excerpts from Cédric Le Goater's message of April 21, 2022 4:21 pm:
> On 4/21/22 04:04, Nicholas Piggin wrote:
>> Excerpts from Leandro Lupori's message of April 21, 2022 4:09 am:
>>> On 4/18/22 17:22, Cédric Le Goater wrote:
>>>> On 4/18/22 21:10, Leandro Lupori wrote:
>>>>> Add semihosting support for PPC64. This implementation is
>>>>> based on the standard for ARM semihosting version 2.0, as
>>>>> implemented by QEMU and documented in
>>>>>       https://github.com/ARM-software/abi-aa/releases
>>>>> The PPC64 specific differences are the following:
>>>>> Semihosting Trap Instruction: sc 7
>>>>> Operation Number Register: r3
>>>>> Parameter Register: r4
>>>>> Return Register: r3
>>>>> Data block field size: 64 bits
>>>> 'sc' is a good way to implement semi hosting but we should make sure
>>>> that it is not colliding with future extensions, at least with the
>>>> next POWERPC processor. Is that the case ? if not, then the lev could
>>>> be reserved.
>>> Power ISA 3.1B says that LEV values greater that 2 are reserved.
>>> Level 2 is the ultravisor, so I assumed that level 7 was far enough from
>>> current max level. I don't know if POWER11 will introduce new privilege
>>> levels. Is this info publicly available somewhere? Or do you have a
>>> better level in mind to use instead?
>> It's not available but there are no plans to use LEV=7.
>> It would be fine in practice I think, but it's kind of ugly and not
>> great precedent -- how would we find out all the projects which use
>> reserved instructions or values for something? Nominally the onus is on
>> the software to accept breakage, but in reality important software that
>> breaks causes a headache for the ISA.
>> IBM's systemsim emulator actually has an instruction to call out to the
>> emulator to do various things like IO. It uses the opcode
>>    .long 0x000eaeb0
>> That is the primary op 0 reserved space, and there is actually another
>> op 'attn' or 'sp_attn' there which IBM CPUs implement, it is similar in
>> spirit (it calls out to the service processor and/or chip error handling
>> system to deal with a condition out-of-band). You don't want to use attn
>> here because the core under emulation might implement it, I'm just
>> noting the precedent with similar functionality under this primary
>> opcode.
>> So I think the systemsim emulator instruction should be a good choice.
> yeah. It's not a major change.
>> But it should really be documented. I will bring this up at the Open
>> Power ISA working group meeting next week and see what the options are
>> with getting it formally allocated for semihosting emulators (or what
>> the alternatives are).
> It would be nice to invite Leandro to this meeting since he started
> implementing.

Good point. I'll organize with him offline.


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