AHCI Virtualization in Device Model

AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interface) is a hardware mechanism that enables software to communicate with Serial ATA devices. AHCI HBA (host bus adapters) is a PCI class device that acts as a data movement engine between system memory and Serial ATA devices. The ACPI HBA in ACRN supports both ATA and ATAPI devices. The architecture is shown in the diagram below:


HBA is registered to the PCI system with device id 0x2821 and vendor id 0x8086. Its memory registers are mapped in BAR 5. It supports only six ports (refer to ICH8 AHCI). The AHCI driver in the User VM can access HBA in DM through the PCI BAR, and HBA can inject MSI interrupts through the PCI framework.

When the application in the User VM reads data from /dev/sda, the request will be sent through the AHCI driver and then the PCI driver. The Hypervisor will trap the request from the User VM and dispatch it to the DM. According to the offset in the BAR, the request will be dispatched to the port control handler. Then the request is parsed to a block I/O request which can be processed by the Block backend model.


*-s <slot>,ahci,<type:><filepath>*

Type: ‘hd’ and ‘cd’ are available.

Filepath: the path for the backend file; could be a partition or a regular file.

For example,

System VM: -s 20,ahci,hd:/dev/mmcblk0p1

User VM: /dev/sda