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Error Detection And Correction (EDAC) Devices
Main Concepts used at the EDAC subsystem
There are several things to be aware of that aren't at all obvious, like
*sockets, *socket sets*, *banks*, *rows*, *chip-select rows*, *channels*,
These are some of the many terms that are thrown about that don't always
mean what people think they mean (Inconceivable!). In the interest of
creating a common ground for discussion, terms and their definitions
will be established.
* Memory devices
The individual DRAM chips on a memory stick. These devices commonly
output 4 and 8 bits each (x4, x8). Grouping several of these in parallel
provides the number of bits that the memory controller expects:
typically 72 bits, in order to provide 64 bits + 8 bits of ECC data.
* Memory Stick
A printed circuit board that aggregates multiple memory devices in
parallel. In general, this is the Field Replaceable Unit (FRU) which
gets replaced, in the case of excessive errors. Most often it is also
called DIMM (Dual Inline Memory Module).
* Memory Socket
A physical connector on the motherboard that accepts a single memory
stick. Also called as "slot" on several datasheets.
* Channel
A memory controller channel, responsible to communicate with a group of
DIMMs. Each channel has its own independent control (command) and data
bus, and can be used independently or grouped with other channels.
* Branch
It is typically the highest hierarchy on a Fully-Buffered DIMM memory
controller. Typically, it contains two channels. Two channels at the
same branch can be used in single mode or in lockstep mode. When
lockstep is enabled, the cacheline is doubled, but it generally brings
some performance penalty. Also, it is generally not possible to point to
just one memory stick when an error occurs, as the error correction code
is calculated using two DIMMs instead of one. Due to that, it is capable
of correcting more errors than on single mode.
* Single-channel
The data accessed by the memory controller is contained into one dimm
only. E. g. if the data is 64 bits-wide, the data flows to the CPU using
one 64 bits parallel access. Typically used with SDR, DDR, DDR2 and DDR3
memories. FB-DIMM and RAMBUS use a different concept for channel, so
this concept doesn't apply there.
* Double-channel
The data size accessed by the memory controller is interlaced into two
dimms, accessed at the same time. E. g. if the DIMM is 64 bits-wide (72
bits with ECC), the data flows to the CPU using a 128 bits parallel
* Chip-select row
This is the name of the DRAM signal used to select the DRAM ranks to be
accessed. Common chip-select rows for single channel are 64 bits, for
dual channel 128 bits. It may not be visible by the memory controller,
as some DIMM types have a memory buffer that can hide direct access to
it from the Memory Controller.
* Single-Ranked stick
A Single-ranked stick has 1 chip-select row of memory. Motherboards
commonly drive two chip-select pins to a memory stick. A single-ranked
stick, will occupy only one of those rows. The other will be unused.
.. _doubleranked:
* Double-Ranked stick
A double-ranked stick has two chip-select rows which access different
sets of memory devices. The two rows cannot be accessed concurrently.
* Double-sided stick
**DEPRECATED TERM**, see :ref:`Double-Ranked stick <doubleranked>`.
A double-sided stick has two chip-select rows which access different sets
of memory devices. The two rows cannot be accessed concurrently.
"Double-sided" is irrespective of the memory devices being mounted on
both sides of the memory stick.
* Socket set
All of the memory sticks that are required for a single memory access or
all of the memory sticks spanned by a chip-select row. A single socket
set has two chip-select rows and if double-sided sticks are used these
will occupy those chip-select rows.
* Bank
This term is avoided because it is unclear when needing to distinguish
between chip-select rows and socket sets.
Memory Controllers
Most of the EDAC core is focused on doing Memory Controller error detection.
The :c:func:`edac_mc_alloc`. It uses internally the struct ``mem_ctl_info``
to describe the memory controllers, with is an opaque struct for the EDAC
drivers. Only the EDAC core is allowed to touch it.
.. kernel-doc:: include/linux/edac.h
.. kernel-doc:: drivers/edac/edac_mc.h
PCI Controllers
The EDAC subsystem provides a mechanism to handle PCI controllers by calling
the :c:func:`edac_pci_alloc_ctl_info`. It will use the struct
:c:type:`edac_pci_ctl_info` to describe the PCI controllers.
.. kernel-doc:: drivers/edac/edac_pci.h
EDAC Blocks
The EDAC subsystem also provides a generic mechanism to report errors on
other parts of the hardware via :c:func:`edac_device_alloc_ctl_info` function.
The structures :c:type:`edac_dev_sysfs_block_attribute`,
:c:type:`edac_device_block`, :c:type:`edac_device_instance` and
:c:type:`edac_device_ctl_info` provide a generic or abstract 'edac_device'
representation at sysfs.
This set of structures and the code that implements the APIs for the same, provide for registering EDAC type devices which are NOT standard memory or
PCI, like:
- CPU caches (L1 and L2)
- DMA engines
- Core CPU switches
- Fabric switch units
- PCIe interface controllers
- other EDAC/ECC type devices that can be monitored for
errors, etc.
It allows for a 2 level set of hierarchy.
For example, a cache could be composed of L1, L2 and L3 levels of cache.
Each CPU core would have its own L1 cache, while sharing L2 and maybe L3
caches. On such case, those can be represented via the following sysfs
pci/ <existing pci directory (if available)>
mc/ <existing memory device directory>
cpu/cpu0/.. <L1 and L2 block directory>
cpu/cpu1/.. <L1 and L2 block directory>
the L1 and L2 directories would be "edac_device_block's"
.. kernel-doc:: drivers/edac/edac_device.h