What happens if ITCM and DTCM overlap on ARM926EJ-S?
Posted 23 January 2012 - 11:45 AM
I noticed a bug in ITCM and DTCM initialization in some bootloader code.
The result is that the same value is written in the ITCM region register and in the DTCM region register, so both are configured with the same address and size.
It looks like in this case, ITCM gets priority over DTCM since everything is working correctly when executing code stored in this region of memory. If DTCM had priority, fetching an instruction from this region of memory would cause a prefetch abort exception.
Now, that's my understanding of what happens, but I couldn't find anything about it in the ARM926EJ-S documentation.
Can anybody confirm my theory, or explain what happens in detail?
Posted 23 January 2012 - 03:04 PM
From memory, instruction fetches will go to the ITCM, and data accesses to the DTCM. (Note I don't think it is documented anywhere that it does this, all the docs I've seen just say not to do this). So it will work if you have no data in the ITCM. Sounds easy, but remember that compilers often embed pools of literal data within instruction sections. Basically, its a bad idea to map them to the same address.
Posted 23 January 2012 - 03:22 PM
Actually, there are literal pools in this ITCM code, but I recall reading somewhere that the ITCM can contain data precisely because of PC-relative literal pools (however the DTCM cannot contain instructions). This would mean that for data accesses to PC-relative literal pools, the ITCM is used anyway. I cannot imagine how the ITCM code would work otherwise.
I hope someone can confirm this or explain what happens in this case.
Anyway, I agree that it is probably some kind of undefined behavior, and it shouldn't be done even if it seems to be working.
Posted 24 January 2012 - 08:33 AM
So it's undefined behavior, and really it is luck that it works.