MDMA internal peripheral

Revision as of 15:59, 8 November 2021 by Registered User

Applicable for STM32MP13x lines, STM32MP15x lines

1 Article purpose[edit]

The purpose of this article is to:

  • briefly introduce the MDMA peripheral and its main features
  • indicate the level of security supported by this hardware block
  • explain how each instance can be allocated to the runtime contexts and linked to the corresponding software components
  • explain, when necessary, how to configure the MDMA peripheral.

2 Peripheral overview[edit]

The MDMA is used to perform high-speed data transfers between memory and memory or between peripherals and memory. The MDMA controller offers 32 channels. The selection of the device connected to each channel and controlling DMA transfers is done in MDMA peripheral.

Among all the requestor lines described in the reference manual (accessible via the following paragraph), DMA channels are the only lines that allow to perform transfers with chained DMA and MDMA (refer to DMA internal peripheral article). As a result, when a device is not connected to the MDMA, it is anyway possible to operate in DMA mode via the DMA controller and chain DMA and MDMA.

2.1 Features[edit]

Refer to STM32MP13 reference manuals or STM32MP15 reference manuals for the complete list of features, and to the software components, introduced below, to see which features are implemented.

2.2 Security support[edit]

The MDMA is a secure peripheral. This means that it performs each transfer in the context of the master that requested it:

  • a transfer requested by the Arm® Cortex®-A7 non-secure core propagates non-secure accesses to the targeted device and/or memory.
  • a transfer requested by Arm Cortex-A7 secure core propagates secure accesses to the targeted device and/or memory.

3 Peripheral usage and associated software[edit]

3.1 Boot time[edit]

The MDMA is used at boot time by the FMC.

3.2 Runtime[edit]

3.2.1 Overview[edit]

As stated in the 'Security support' chapter above, the MDMA is a secure peripheral. This means that its channels have to be allocated to:

  • the Arm Cortex-A7 non-secure core to be controlled in Linux® by the dmaengine framework


  • the Arm Cortex-A7 secure core to be controlled by a MDMA OP-TEE driver, not supported yet by OpenSTLinux.

STM32CubeMX allows to distinguish between non-secure and secure channels, among all the available channels.

On STM32MP15x lines More info.png, the MDMA is visible from the Arm Cortex-M4 core. However, it is not supported in this context by STM32MPU Embedded Software distribution.

3.2.2 Software frameworks[edit] On STM32MP13x lines More info.png[edit]
Domain Peripheral Software components Comment
OP-TEE Linux
Core/DMA MDMA OP-TEE MDMA driver Linux dmaengine framework On STM32MP15x lines More info.png[edit]

Internal peripherals software table template

| Core/DMA
| OP-TEE MDMA driver
| Linux dmaengine framework

3.2.3 Peripheral configuration[edit]

The configuration is applied by the firmware running in the context to which the peripheral is assigned. The configuration can be done alone via the STM32CubeMX tool for all internal peripherals, and then manually completed (particularly for external peripherals), according to the information given in the corresponding software framework article.

3.2.4 Peripheral assignment[edit] On STM32MP13x lines More info.png[edit]

Click on the right to expand the legend...


Check boxes illustrate the possible peripheral allocations supported by STM32 MPU Embedded Software:

  • means that the peripheral can be assigned () to the given runtime context.
  • means that the peripheral can be assigned to the given runtime context, but this configuration is not supported in STM32 MPU Embedded Software distribution.
  • is used for system peripherals that cannot be unchecked because they are statically connected in the device.

Refer to How to assign an internal peripheral to an execution context for more information on how to assign peripherals manually or via STM32CubeMX.
The present chapter describes STMicroelectronics recommendations or choice of implementation. Additional possiblities might be described in STM32MP13 reference manuals.

Domain Peripheral Runtime allocation Comment
Instance Cortex-A7
Core/DMA MDMA MDMA Shareable (multiple choices supported) On STM32MP15x lines More info.png[edit]

Internal peripherals assignment table template

| rowspan="1" | Core/DMA
| rowspan="1" | MDMA
| Shareable (multiple choices supported)