DDRCTRL and DDRPHYC internal peripherals

1 Article purpose[edit]

The purpose of this article is to:

  • briefly introduce the DDRCTRL and DDRPHYC peripherals and their main features
  • indicate the level of security supported by those hardware blocks
  • explain how they can be allocated to the three runtime contexts and linked to the corresponding software components
  • explain, when necessary, how to configure the DDRCTRL and DDRPHYC peripherals

2 Peripheral overview[edit]

DDRCTRL and DDRPHYC peripherals are used to configure the physical interface to the external DDR memory.

2.1 Features[edit]

Refer to STM32MP15 reference manuals for the complete features list, and to the software components, introduced below, to know which features are really implemented.

2.2 Security support[edit]

DDRCTRL and DDRPHYC are secure aware (under ETZPC control).

The access to the DDR memory can be filtered alone via TZC controller: for instance, it is possible to forbid the access from the Cortex®-M4 to the DDR region used by the Cortex®-A7.

3 Peripheral usage and associated software[edit]

3.1 Boot time[edit]

DDRCTRL and DDRPHYC are kept secure and used by the FSBL to initialize the access to the DDR where it loads the SSBL (U-Boot) for execution.
STMicroelectronics wants to make the DDR memory configuration as easy as possible, for this reason a DDR tuning function is available in STM32CubeMX tool in order to generate the device tree that is given to the FSBL to perform this initialization.

3.2 Runtime[edit]

3.2.1 Overview[edit]

DDRCTRL and DDRPHYC are accessed at runtime by the secure monitor (from the FSBL or OP-TEE) to put the DDR in self-refresh state before going into Stop or Standby low power mode.
On Standby exit, the ROM code loads the FSBL that configures again the DDRCTRL and DDRPHYC before proceeding with the wake up procedure, till Linux.

Caution: there is no runtime allocation for DDRCTRL and DDRPHYC since there are always initialized by the secure context. On the other hand, it is usefull to show that the DDR memory itself is only used by the Cortex®-A7 non-secure for Linux, as shown in the memory mapping, so this is the only possible configuration in STMicroelectronics distribution.

3.2.2 Software frameworks[edit]

Domain Peripheral Software frameworks Comment

Core/RAM DDR via DDRCTRL Memory mapping

3.2.3 Peripheral configuration[edit]

The configuration is applied during boot time by the SSBL (see Boot chains overview): TF-A or U-Boot SPL.

The configuration by itself (values for DDRCTL and DDRPHY registers) is generated via STM32CubeMX tool in the device tree for the SSBL according the DDR configuration (type, size, frequency, speed grade).

3.2.4 Peripheral assignment[edit]

Internal peripherals

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.
  • 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 a runtime 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 STM32MP15 reference manuals.

Domain Peripheral Runtime allocation Comment
Instance Cortex-A7


4 How to go further[edit]

Device tree binding of DDR node:

5 References[edit]

Doubledata rate (memory domain)

Open Portable Trusted Execution Environment

Random Access Memory

Second Stage Boot Loader