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AR# 55326

Zynq-7000 AP SoC, APU - A branch-to-self instruction in the last L1 cache line of a page might cause a denial of service


The execution of a branch-to-self loop from the last L1 cache line of a page might cause a continuous stream of requests within the processor which could stall a CP15 broadcast operation that is executed by the other processor.


Note that because the processor executing the CP15 broadcast operation cannot complete that operation, it cannot enter any debug-mode, and cannot take any interrupt. If the processor executing the branch-to-self loop cannot be interrupted (e.g., if it has disabled its interrupts, or if all interrupts are routed to other processor), then this issue might cause a livelock in the system.

Impact: Minor. This issue might impact the performance of the system, or in the worst case, if the processor executing the branch-to-itself loop cannot be interrupted it might cause a system livelock.
Work-around: Break the continuous stream of requests generated by the CPU, refer to Work-around Details.
Configurations Affected: Systems that use two CPUs.
Device Revision(s) Affected: All. No plan to fix. Refer to (Xilinx Answer 47916) - Zynq-7000 AP SoC Silicon Revision Differences.
Third Party Errata: ARM Errata 799769

Work-around Details

To work around this problem, you can break the continuous stream of requests generated internally in the processor executing the branch-to-self loop. Software usually executes a branch-to-self loop while waiting for an external event to happen, for example a lock-release in a multiprocessor environment. The recommended work-around is to replace the branch-to-self loop by a loop containing a WFE or WFI instruction, as recommended by the ARM Architecture Reference Manual. Other work-arounds, such as adding a NOP in the loop, or moving the branch-to-self instruction to any location other than the last cache line of the page, would avoid the issue.

If the software executing the branch-to-self loop cannot be modified, the recommended work-around is to force the processor executing the loop to regularly take an interrupt that acts as a watchdog. There are several ways this periodic interrupt might be generated, and these can be system-specific. Possible candidates are interrupts generated by the local timer, global timer, or Performance Monitor Unit cycle counter overflow.

Linked Answer Records

Master Answer Records

Answer Number Answer Title Version Found Version Resolved
47916 Zynq-7000 AP SoC Devices - Silicon Revision Differences N/A N/A
AR# 55326
Date Created 04/02/2013
Last Updated 05/15/2013
Status Active
Type Design Advisory
  • XA Zynq-7000
  • Zynq-7000