XIVE for sPAPR (pseries machines)

The POWER9 processor comes with a new interrupt controller architecture, called XIVE as “eXternal Interrupt Virtualization Engine”. It supports a larger number of interrupt sources and offers virtualization features which enables the HW to deliver interrupts directly to virtual processors without hypervisor assistance.

A QEMU pseries machine (which is PAPR compliant) using POWER9 processors can run under two interrupt modes:

  • Legacy Compatibility Mode

    the hypervisor provides identical interfaces and similar functionality to PAPR+ Version 2.7. This is the default mode

    It is also referred as XICS in QEMU.

  • XIVE native exploitation mode

    the hypervisor provides new interfaces to manage the XIVE control structures, and provides direct control for interrupt management through MMIO pages.

Which interrupt modes can be used by the machine is negotiated with the guest O/S during the Client Architecture Support negotiation sequence. The two modes are mutually exclusive.

Both interrupt mode share the same IRQ number space. See below for the layout.

CAS Negotiation

QEMU advertises the supported interrupt modes in the device tree property ibm,arch-vec-5-platform-support in byte 23 and the OS Selection for XIVE is indicated in the ibm,architecture-vec-5 property byte 23.

The interrupt modes supported by the machine depend on the CPU type (POWER9 is required for XIVE) but also on the machine property ic-mode which can be set on the command line. It can take the following values: xics, xive, and dual which is the default mode. dual means that both modes XICS and XIVE are supported and if the guest OS supports XIVE, this mode will be selected.

The choosen interrupt mode is activated after a reconfiguration done in a machine reset.

KVM negotiation

When the guest starts under KVM, the capabilities of the host kernel and QEMU are also negotiated. Depending on the version of the host kernel, KVM will advertise the XIVE capability to QEMU or not.

Nevertheless, the available interrupt modes in the machine should not depend on the XIVE KVM capability of the host. On older kernels without XIVE KVM support, QEMU will use the emulated XIVE device as a fallback and on newer kernels (>=5.2), the KVM XIVE device.

XIVE native exploitation mode is not supported for KVM nested guests, VMs running under a L1 hypervisor (KVM on pSeries). In that case, the hypervisor will not advertise the KVM capability and QEMU will use the emulated XIVE device, same as for older versions of KVM.

As a final refinement, the user can also switch the use of the KVM device with the machine option kernel_irqchip.

XIVE support in KVM

For guest OSes supporting XIVE, the resulting interrupt modes on host kernels with XIVE KVM support are the following:

ic-mode kernel_irqchip
/ allowed (default) off on
dual (default) XIVE KVM XIVE emul. XIVE KVM
xive XIVE KVM XIVE emul. XIVE KVM
xics XICS KVM XICS emul. XICS KVM

For legacy guest OSes without XIVE support, the resulting interrupt modes are the following:

ic-mode kernel_irqchip
/ allowed (default) off on
dual (default) XICS KVM XICS emul. XICS KVM
xive QEMU error(3) QEMU error(3) QEMU error(3)
xics XICS KVM XICS emul. XICS KVM
  1. QEMU fails at CAS with Guest requested unavailable interrupt mode (XICS), either don't set the ic-mode machine property or try ic-mode=xics or ic-mode=dual

No XIVE support in KVM

For guest OSes supporting XIVE, the resulting interrupt modes on host kernels without XIVE KVM support are the following:

ic-mode kernel_irqchip
/ allowed (default) off on
dual (default) XIVE emul.(1) XIVE emul. QEMU error (2)
xive XIVE emul.(1) XIVE emul. QEMU error (2)
xics XICS KVM XICS emul. XICS KVM
  1. QEMU warns with warning: kernel_irqchip requested but unavailable: IRQ_XIVE capability must be present for KVM In some cases (old host kernels or KVM nested guests), one may hit a QEMU/KVM incompatibility due to device destruction in reset. QEMU fails with KVM is incompatible with ic-mode=dual,kernel-irqchip=on
  2. QEMU fails with kernel_irqchip requested but unavailable: IRQ_XIVE capability must be present for KVM

For legacy guest OSes without XIVE support, the resulting interrupt modes are the following:

ic-mode kernel_irqchip
/ allowed (default) off on
dual (default) QEMU error(4) XICS emul. QEMU error(4)
xive QEMU error(3) QEMU error(3) QEMU error(3)
xics XICS KVM XICS emul. XICS KVM
  1. QEMU fails at CAS with Guest requested unavailable interrupt mode (XICS), either don't set the ic-mode machine property or try ic-mode=xics or ic-mode=dual
  2. QEMU/KVM incompatibility due to device destruction in reset. QEMU fails with KVM is incompatible with ic-mode=dual,kernel-irqchip=on

XIVE Device tree properties

The properties for the PAPR interrupt controller node when the XIVE native exploitation mode is selected shoud contain:

  • device_type

    value should be “power-ivpe”.

  • compatible

    value should be “ibm,power-ivpe”.

  • reg

    contains the base address and size of the thread interrupt managnement areas (TIMA), for the User level and for the Guest OS level. Only the Guest OS level is taken into account today.

  • ibm,xive-eq-sizes

    the size of the event queues. One cell per size supported, contains log2 of size, in ascending order.

  • ibm,xive-lisn-ranges

    the IRQ interrupt number ranges assigned to the guest for the IPIs.

The root node also exports :

  • ibm,plat-res-int-priorities

    contains a list of priorities that the hypervisor has reserved for its own use.

IRQ number space

IRQ Number space of the pseries machine is 8K wide and is the same for both interrupt mode. The different ranges are defined as follow :

  • 0x0000 .. 0x0FFF 4K CPU IPIs (only used under XIVE)
  • 0x1000 .. 0x1000 1 EPOW
  • 0x1001 .. 0x1001 1 HOTPLUG
  • 0x1002 .. 0x10FF unused
  • 0x1100 .. 0x11FF 256 VIO devices
  • 0x1200 .. 0x127F 32x4 LSIs for PHB devices
  • 0x1280 .. 0x12FF unused
  • 0x1300 .. 0x1FFF PHB MSIs (dynamically allocated)

Monitoring XIVE

The state of the XIVE interrupt controller can be queried through the monitor commands info pic. The output comes in two parts.

First, the state of the thread interrupt context registers is dumped for each CPU :

(qemu) info pic
CPU[0000]:   QW   NSR CPPR IPB LSMFB ACK# INC AGE PIPR  W2
CPU[0000]: USER    00   00  00    00   00  00  00   00  00000000
CPU[0000]:   OS    00   ff  00    00   ff  00  ff   ff  80000400
CPU[0000]: POOL    00   00  00    00   00  00  00   00  00000000
CPU[0000]: PHYS    00   00  00    00   00  00  00   ff  00000000
...

In the case of a pseries machine, QEMU acts as the hypervisor and only the O/S and USER register rings make sense. W2 contains the vCPU CAM line which is set to the VP identifier.

Then comes the routing information which aggregates the EAS and the END configuration:

...
LISN         PQ    EISN     CPU/PRIO EQ
00000000 MSI --    00000010   0/6    380/16384 @1fe3e0000 ^1 [ 80000010 ... ]
00000001 MSI --    00000010   1/6    305/16384 @1fc230000 ^1 [ 80000010 ... ]
00000002 MSI --    00000010   2/6    220/16384 @1fc2f0000 ^1 [ 80000010 ... ]
00000003 MSI --    00000010   3/6    201/16384 @1fc390000 ^1 [ 80000010 ... ]
00000004 MSI -Q  M 00000000
00000005 MSI -Q  M 00000000
00000006 MSI -Q  M 00000000
00000007 MSI -Q  M 00000000
00001000 MSI --    00000012   0/6    380/16384 @1fe3e0000 ^1 [ 80000010 ... ]
00001001 MSI --    00000013   0/6    380/16384 @1fe3e0000 ^1 [ 80000010 ... ]
00001100 MSI --    00000100   1/6    305/16384 @1fc230000 ^1 [ 80000010 ... ]
00001101 MSI -Q  M 00000000
00001200 LSI -Q  M 00000000
00001201 LSI -Q  M 00000000
00001202 LSI -Q  M 00000000
00001203 LSI -Q  M 00000000
00001300 MSI --    00000102   1/6    305/16384 @1fc230000 ^1 [ 80000010 ... ]
00001301 MSI --    00000103   2/6    220/16384 @1fc2f0000 ^1 [ 80000010 ... ]
00001302 MSI --    00000104   3/6    201/16384 @1fc390000 ^1 [ 80000010 ... ]

The source information and configuration:

  • The LISN column outputs the interrupt number of the source in range [ 0x0 ... 0x1FFF ] and its type : MSI or LSI

  • The PQ column reflects the state of the PQ bits of the source :

    • -- source is ready to take events
    • P- an event was sent and an EOI is PENDING
    • PQ an event was QUEUED
    • -Q source is OFF

    a M indicates that source is MASKED at the EAS level,

The targeting configuration :

  • The EISN column is the event data that will be queued in the event queue of the O/S.
  • The CPU/PRIO column is the tuple defining the CPU number and priority queue serving the source.
  • The EQ column outputs :
    • the current index of the event queue/ the max number of entries
    • the O/S event queue address
    • the toggle bit
    • the last entries that were pushed in the event queue.