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Date:   Thu, 3 Sep 2020 10:17:27 -0700
From:   Florian Fainelli <>
To:     Adam Rudziński <>,
        Andrew Lunn <>
Subject: Re: [RFC net-next 2/2] net: phy: bcm7xxx: request and manage GPHY

On 9/3/2020 10:13 AM, Adam Rudziński wrote:
> W dniu 2020-09-03 o 17:21, Florian Fainelli pisze:
>> On 9/2/2020 11:00 PM, Adam Rudziński wrote:
>>> W dniu 2020-09-03 o 04:13, Florian Fainelli pisze:
>>>> On 9/2/2020 3:20 PM, Andrew Lunn wrote:
>>>>>> +    priv->clk = devm_clk_get_optional(&phydev->, "sw_gphy");
>>>>>> +    if (IS_ERR(priv->clk))
>>>>>> +        return PTR_ERR(priv->clk);
>>>>>> +
>>>>>> +    /* To get there, the mdiobus registration logic already 
>>>>>> enabled our
>>>>>> +     * clock otherwise we would not have probed this device since 
>>>>>> we would
>>>>>> +     * not be able to read its ID. To avoid artificially bumping 
>>>>>> up the
>>>>>> +     * clock reference count, only do the clock enable from a 
>>>>>> phy_remove ->
>>>>>> +     * phy_probe path (driver unbind, then rebind).
>>>>>> +     */
>>>>>> +    if (!__clk_is_enabled(priv->clk))
>>>>>> +        ret = clk_prepare_enable(priv->clk);
>>>>> This i don't get. The clock subsystem does reference counting. So what
>>>>> i would expect to happen is that during scanning of the bus, phylib
>>>>> enables the clock and keeps it enabled until after probe. To keep
>>>>> things balanced, phylib would disable the clock after probe.
>>>> That would be fine, although it assumes that the individual PHY 
>>>> drivers have obtained the clocks and called clk_prepare_enable(), 
>>>> which is a fair assumption I suppose.
>>>>> If the driver wants the clock enabled all the time, it can enable it
>>>>> in the probe method. The common clock framework will then have two
>>>>> reference counts for the clock, so that when the probe exists, and
>>>>> phylib disables the clock, the CCF keeps the clock ticking. The PHY
>>>>> driver can then disable the clock in .remove.
>>>> But then the lowest count you will have is 1, which will lead to the 
>>>> clock being left on despite having unbound the PHY driver from the 
>>>> device (->remove was called). This does not allow saving any power 
>>>> unfortunately.
>>>>> There are some PHYs which will enumerate with the clock disabled. They
>>>>> only need it ticking for packet transfer. Such PHY drivers can enable
>>>>> the clock only when needed in order to save some power when the
>>>>> interface is administratively down.
>>>> Then the best approach would be for the OF scanning code to enable 
>>>> all clocks reference by the Ethernet PHY node (like it does in the 
>>>> proposed patch), since there is no knowledge of which clock is 
>>>> necessary and all must be assumed to be critical for MDIO bus 
>>>> scanning. Right before drv->probe() we drop all resources reference 
>>>> counts, and from there on ->probe() is assumed to manage the 
>>>> necessary clocks.
>>>> It looks like another solution may be to use the assigned-clocks 
>>>> property which will take care of assigning clock references to 
>>>> devices and having those applied as soon as the clock provider is 
>>>> available.
>>> Hi Guys,
>>> I've just realized that a PHY may also have a reset signal connected. 
>>> The reset signal may be controlled by the dedicated peripheral or by 
>>> GPIO.
>> There is already support for such a thing within 
>> drivers/net/phy/mdio_bus.c though it assumes we could bind the PHY 
>> device to its driver already.
>>> In general terms, there might be a set of control signals needed to 
>>> enable the PHY. It seems that the clock and the reset would be the 
>>> typical useful options.
>>> Going further with my imagination of how evil the hardware design 
>>> could be, in general the signals for the PHY may have some relations 
>>> to other control signals.
>>> I think that from the software point of view this comes down to 
>>> assumption that the PHY is to be controlled "driver only knows how".
>> That is all well and good as long as we can actually bind the PHY 
>> device which its driver, and right now this means that we either have:
>> - a compatible string in Device Tree which is of the form 
>> ethernet-phy-id%4x.%4x (see of_get_phy_id) which means that we *know* 
>> already which PHY we have and we avoid doing reads of MII_PHYSID1 and 
>> MII_PHYSID2. This is a Linux implementation detail that should not 
>> have to be known to systems designer IMHO
>> - a successful read of MII_PHYSID1 and MII_PHYSID2 (or an equivalent 
>> for the clause 45 PHYs) that allows us to know what PHY device we 
>> have, which is something that needs to happen eventually.
>> The problem is when there are essential resources such as clocks, 
>> regulators, reset signals that must be enabled, respectively 
>> de-asserted in order for a successful MDIO read of MII_PHYSID1 and 
>> MII_PHYSID2 to succeed.
>> There is no driver involvement at that stage because we have no 
>> phy_device to bind it to *yet*. Depending on what we read from 
>> MII_PHYSID1/PHY_ID2 we will either successfully bind to the Generic 
>> PHY driver (assuming we did not read all Fs) or not and we will return 
>> -ENODEV and then it is game over.
>> This is the chicken and egg problem that this patch series is 
>> addressing, for clocks, because we can retrieve clock devices with 
>> just a device_node reference.
> I have an impression that here the effort goes in the wrong direction. 
> If I understand correctly, the goal is to have the kernel find out what 
> will the driver need to use the phy. But, the kernel anyway calls a 
> probe function of the driver, doesn't it? To me it looks as if you were 
> trying to do something that the driver will/would/might do later, and 
> possibly "undo" it in the meantime. In this regard, this becomes kind of 
> a workaround, not solution of the problem. Also, having taken a glance 
> at your previous messages, I can tell that this is all becoming even 
> more complex.

What is the problem according to you, and what would an acceptable 
solution look like then?

> I think that the effort should be to allow any node in the device tree 
> to take care about its child nodes by itself, and just "report" to the 
> kernel, or "install" in the kernel whatever is necessary, but without 
> any initiative of the kernel. Let the drivers be as complicated as 
> necessary, not the kernel.

The Device Tree representation is already correct in that it lists 
clocks/regulators/reset signals that are needed by the PHY. The problem 
is its implementation with the Linux device driver model. Please read 
again what I wrote.

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