[RFC 1/1] drm/pl111: Initial drm/kms driver for pl111

Rob Clark robdclark at gmail.com
Tue Aug 13 10:58:15 EDT 2013

On Tue, Aug 13, 2013 at 10:35 AM, Tom Cooksey <tom.cooksey at arm.com> wrote:
>> > > > So in the above, after X receives the second DRI2SwapBuffers, it
>> > > > doesn't need to get scheduled again for the next frame to be both
>> > > > rendered by the GPU and issued to the display for scanout.
>> > >
>> > > well, this is really only an issue if you are so loaded that you
>> > > don't get a chance to schedule for ~16ms.. which is pretty long
>> > > time.
>> Yes - it really is 16ms (minus interrupt/workqueue latency) isn't it?
>> Hmmm, that does sound very long. Will try out some experiments and see.
> We're looking at moving the flip queue into the DDX driver, however
> it's not as straight-forward as I thought. With the current design,
> all rate-limiting happens on the client side. So even if you only have
> double buffering, using KDS you can queue up as many asynchronous
> GPU-render/scan-out pairs as you want. It's up to EGL in the client
> application to figure out there's a lot of frames in-flight and so
> should probably block the application's render thread in
> eglSwapBuffers to let the GPU and/or display catch up a bit.
> If we only allow a single outstanding page-flip job in DRM, there'd be
> a race if we returned a buffer to the client which had an outstanding
> page-flip queued up in the DDX: The client could issue a render job to
> the buffer just as the DDX processed the page-flip from the queue,
> making the scan-out block until the GPU rendered the next frame. It
> would also mean the previous frame would have been lost as it never
> got scanned out before the GPU rendered the next-next frame to it.

You wouldn't unconditionally send the swap-done event to the client
when the queue is "full".  (Well, for omap and msm, the queue depth is
1, for triple buffer.. I think usually you don't want to do more than
triple buffer.)  The client would never get a buffer that wasn't
already done being scanned out, so there shouldn't be a race.

Basically, in DDX, when you get a ScheduleSwap, there are two cases:
1) you are still waiting for previous page-flip event from kernel, in
which case you queue the swap and don't immediately send the event
back to the client.  When the previous page flip completes, you
schedule the new one and then send back the event to the client.
2) you are not waiting for a previous page-flip, in which case you
schedule the new page-flip and send the event to the client.

(I hope that is clear.. I suppose maybe a picture here would help, but
sadly I don't have anything handy)

The potential drawback is that the client doesn't necessarily have any
control over double vs triple buffering.  In omap ddx I solved this by
adding a special attachment point that the client could request to
tell the DDX that it wanted to triple buffer.  But the upside is that
you never need to worry about a modeset when there is more than one
flip pending.


> So instead, I think we'll have to block (suspend?) a client in
> ScheduleSwap if the next buffer it would obtain with DRI2GetBuffers
> has an outstanding page-flip in the user-space queue. We then wake
> the client up again _after_ we get the page-flip event for the
> previous page flip and have issued the page-flip to the next buffer
> to the DRM. That way the DRM display driver has already registered its
> intention to use the buffer with KDS before the client ever gets hold
> of it.
> Note: I say KDS here, but I assume the same issues will apply on any
> implicit buffer-based synchronization. I.e. dma-fence.
> It's not really a problem I don't think, but mention it to see if you
> can see a reason why the above wouldn't work before we go and
> implement it - it's a fairly big change to the DDX. Can you see any
> issues with it? PrepareAccess gets interesting...
> Cheers,
> Tom

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