Help! isync, exceptions, dummy function problems with RTEMS (near-head) PowerPC/virtex BSP

Robert S. Grimes rsg at
Thu Aug 9 18:43:01 UTC 2007


I wanted to heed Joel's call to test RTEMS, so I wanted to get
my code into a "stable state" so I could compare the new against the
code I grabbed from HEAD about four weeks ago.  Everything has been
going along quite well, until I added some seemingly simple code - no
new tasks or other RTEMS objects, just some application level state
management code.  So the problem I am having is almost certainly in my
code, but I'm having trouble figuring out what it is, mainly because of
how it dies; it just hangs, and when I break into gdb, I find it is
stuck on the isync instruction at the very end of  _CPU_Context_switch
in new-exceptions/cpu_asm.S.  There is, of course, no stack information,
and I'm not sure how to proceed.  Call this the "isync Problem".

Another problem I run into is and infinite "exception handler called for
exception 0"; this message is streamed out the console as fast as the
serial port allows.  Note that the register dump that is supposed to
follow does not happen.  Call this the "Infinite Exception 0 Problem"

Another problem I have seen is the message "exception handler called for
exception 7"; this one _does_ print out the registers before it halts
the system (in its infinite loop).  Call this (not surprisingly) the
"Exception 7 Problem".

All these problems seem to have nothing to do with anything you would
expect.  Right now, without having _knowingly_ fixed anything, the
Exception 7 Problem seems to be gone.  But I am still quite stuck!
However, I have a relatively simple setup where I can selectively cause
the Infinite Exception 0 Problem.  In this, everything works just fine.
But if I add this function:

    void printCurTaskId() {
      rtems_id id;
      rtems_task_ident(RTEMS_SELF, 0, &id);
      printk("Current Task: $%08x\n", id);

to the source file that contains my main initialization routine (you
know, the one RTEMS calls after it initializes), I get the Infinite
Exception 0 Problem.  Now, please note that nowhere in my code is this
function actually called!  If I simply comment out this function,
everything works just fine!  Argh!!!  As far as I can tell, nothing is
changed of any significance in the map files (see follow-up email, if it gets
approved by the moderator - if you're
interested).  Call this one the "Dummy Function Problem" (named after
me, it seems!)

So, now some specific questions:

1. What could cause the isync Problem?  I have absolutely no clue on
this one.

2. What are exception 0 and 7?  In the Xilinx PPC Reference Guide, they
document the available exceptions, but they don't give them "ID"
numbers; they do give, however, their "exception-vector offsets".  For
example, the Program Interrupt exception has an offset of 0x0700, and I
certainly would believe that that is exception 7; however, there is no
exception-vector offset 0x0000, so I don't know what Exception 0 is.  So
what is the mapping between the exception number reported by RTEMS and
the documented exceptions...

3. Any ideas what could cause the Dummy Function Problem, or what to check?

My hardware is fine, I have enough memory - maybe it's the phase of the


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