[PATCH 11/15] thermal: thermal: Add support for hardware-tracked trip points

Mikko Perttunen mikko.perttunen at kapsi.fi
Mon May 18 12:13:46 PDT 2015

On 05/18/2015 09:44 PM, Brian Norris wrote:
> On Mon, May 18, 2015 at 02:09:44PM +0200, Sascha Hauer wrote:
>> On Mon, May 18, 2015 at 12:06:50PM +0300, Mikko Perttunen wrote:
>>> One interesting thing I noticed was that at least the bang-bang
>>> governor only acts if the temperature is properly smaller than (trip
>>> temp - hysteresis). So perhaps we should specify the non-tripping
>>> range as [low, high)? Or we could change bang-bang.
>> I wonder how we can protect against such off-by-one errors anyway.
>> Generally a hardware might operate on raw values rather than directly
>> in temperature values in °C. This means a driver for this must have
>> celsius_to_raw and raw_to_celsius conversion functions. Now it can
>> happen that due to rounding errors celsius_to_raw(Tcrit) returns a raw
>> value that when converted back to celsius is different from the
>> original value in °C. This would mean the hardware triggers an interrupt
>> for a trip point and the thermal core does not react because get_temp
>> actually returns a different temperature than previously programmed as
>> interrupt trigger. This way we would lose hot (or cold) events.
> This also highlights another fact: there's a race between interrupt
> generation and temperature reading (->get_temp()). I would expect any
> hardware interrupt thermal sensor would also have a latched temperature
> reading to correspond with it, and there would be no guarantee that this
> latched temperature will match the polled reading seen once you reach
> thermal_zone_device_update(). So a hardware driver might report a
> thermal update, but the temperature reported to the core won't
> necessarily match what interrupt was meant for.

Does this actually matter? The thermal core will reset trips and apply 
cooling using the new - most recent - value. Using bang bang as example, 
if the temperature has risen since the interrupt fired, the cooling 
device will correctly not be switched off. If the temperature has 
fallen, it will again be correctly switched off. The only issue is then 
if the temperature is exactly 'trip temp - trip hyst' which will cause 
set_trips to load the trip points below, but not cause bang bang to turn 
off the cooling device, and the next chance it will have will only be at 
the next below trip point. Well, this is still safe (at least until you 
replace "cooling device" with "heating device"), so maybe it isn't that 
big of an issue.

Please point out if there's a problem with my line of reasoning.

FWIW - at least Tegra doesn't have a latched register like this. There's 
just a bit indicating that an interrupt was raised and a temperature 
register that updates according to the sensor's input clock.

> I have a patch that adds a thermal_zone_device_update_temp() API, so
> drivers can report the temperature along with the interrupt
> notification. (Such a patch also helps so that the driver can choose to
> round down on cold events and up on hot events, resolving your rounding
> issue too.)
> Brian


More information about the linux-arm-kernel mailing list