Книга: Embedded Linux Primer: A Practical, Real-World Approach

16.3.2. Board Information Structure

16.3.2. Board Information Structure

Many bootloaders are used for PowerPC platforms, but there is still no unified way to pass in board-specific data such as serial port baud rate, memory size, and other low-level hardware parameters that the bootloader has configured. The platform-initialization file from Listing 16-8 supports two different methods, data stored as struct bi_record and data stored as struct bd_info.[113] Both methods provide similar results: hardware-specific data is passed from the bootloader to the kernel in these structures.

From Listing 16-8, here is the code snippet that saves the bootloader-supplied hardware configuration:

struct bi_record *bootinfo = find_bootinfo();
if (bootinfo) parse_bootinfo(bootinfo);
else {
 /* Load the bd_t board info structure */
 if (r3) memcpy((void*)&__res,(void*)(r3+KERNELBASE), sizeof(bd_t));

First, we search for a special tag that identifies the data structure as a struct bi_record. If that is found, the bootinfo pointer is set to the address of the start of the bootinfo records. From there, the records are parsed and the hardware related data is gathered. This can be seen by inspecting .../arch/ppc/kernel/setup.c. Currently, bi_records can contain the kernel command line, the start and end address of the initrd image, the machine type, and the size of the memory. Of course, you can extend this for your own requirements.

If no bi_record data is found, the PowerPC architecture expects this data in the form of U-Boot board information structure, or bd_info. It is the bootloader's responsibility to construct this data structure and pass the address in register r3. Currently, many bits of hardware information are available in the bd_info structure, including information on DRAM, FLASH, SRAM, processor clock rates, bus frequencies, serial port baud rate setting, and more.

The bi_record structure can be examined in .../include/asm-ppc/bootinfo.h, and the bd_info structure can be found in .../include/asm-ppc/ppcboot.h.

It is the responsibility of the platform-initialization routines to make use of any of the data that might be necessary to complete the hardware setup, or to communicate it to the kernel. For example, platform_init() sets up a pointer to a function whose name reveals its purpose. The code from Listing 16-8 is reproduced here:

ppc_md.find_end_of_memory = mpc52xx_find_end_of_memory;

Looking at the function mpc52xx_find_end_of_memory(), which is found in .../arch/ppc/syslib/mpc52xx_setup.c, we find the following:

u32 ramsize = __res.bi_memsize;
if (ramsize == 0) {
 ... /* Find it another way */
return ramsize;

The __res data structure above is the board information structure, whose address was passed to us from the bootloader in register r3 above. As you can see, the generic setup code stored the residual data (as it is often called) passed in by the bootloader, but it's up to the machine or platform-specific code to make use of it.

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