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SubjectRe: [PATCH v3 01/15] [media] v4l: Document explicit synchronization behaviour
On 09/11/2017 03:18 PM, Gustavo Padovan wrote:
> 2017-09-11 Hans Verkuil <>:
>> On 09/11/2017 12:50 PM, Hans Verkuil wrote:
>>> On 09/07/2017 08:42 PM, Gustavo Padovan wrote:
>>>> From: Gustavo Padovan <>
>>>> Add section to VIDIOC_QBUF about it
>>>> v2:
>>>> - mention that fences are files (Hans)
>>>> - rework for the new API
>>>> Signed-off-by: Gustavo Padovan <>
>>>> ---
>>>> Documentation/media/uapi/v4l/vidioc-qbuf.rst | 31 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
>>>> 1 file changed, 31 insertions(+)
>>>> diff --git a/Documentation/media/uapi/v4l/vidioc-qbuf.rst b/Documentation/media/uapi/v4l/vidioc-qbuf.rst
>>>> index 1f3612637200..fae0b1431672 100644
>>>> --- a/Documentation/media/uapi/v4l/vidioc-qbuf.rst
>>>> +++ b/Documentation/media/uapi/v4l/vidioc-qbuf.rst
>>>> @@ -117,6 +117,37 @@ immediately with an ``EAGAIN`` error code when no buffer is available.
>>>> The struct :c:type:`v4l2_buffer` structure is specified in
>>>> :ref:`buffer`.
>>>> +Explicit Synchronization
>>>> +------------------------
>>>> +
>>>> +Explicit Synchronization allows us to control the synchronization of
>>>> +shared buffers from userspace by passing fences to the kernel and/or
>>>> +receiving them from it. Fences passed to the kernel are named in-fences and
>>>> +the kernel should wait them to signal before using the buffer, i.e., queueing
>>> wait them -> wait on them
>>> (do you wait 'on' a fence or 'for' a fence? I think it's 'on' but I'm not 100% sure)
>>>> +it to the driver. On the other side, the kernel can create out-fences for the
>>>> +buffers it queues to the drivers, out-fences signal when the driver is
>>> Start a new sentence here: ...drivers. Out-fences...
>>>> +finished with buffer, that is the buffer is ready. The fence are represented
>>> s/that is/i.e/
>>> s/The fence/The fences/
>>>> +by file and passed as file descriptor to userspace.
>>> s/by file/as a file/
>>> s/as file/as a file/
>>>> +
>>>> +The in-fences are communicated to the kernel at the ``VIDIOC_QBUF`` ioctl
>>>> +using the ``V4L2_BUF_FLAG_IN_FENCE`` buffer
>>>> +flags and the `fence_fd` field. If an in-fence needs to be passed to the kernel,
>>>> +`fence_fd` should be set to the fence file descriptor number and the
>>>> +``V4L2_BUF_FLAG_IN_FENCE`` should be set as well. Failure to set both will
>>> s/Failure to set both/Setting one but not the other/
>>>> +cause ``VIDIOC_QBUF`` to return with error.
>>>> +
>>>> +To get a out-fence back from V4L2 the ``V4L2_BUF_FLAG_OUT_FENCE`` flag should
>>>> +be set to notify it that the next queued buffer should have a fence attached to
>>>> +it. That means the out-fence may not be associated with the buffer in the
>>>> +current ``VIDIOC_QBUF`` ioctl call because the ordering in which videobuf2 core
>>>> +queues the buffers to the drivers can't be guaranteed. To become aware of the
>>>> +of the next queued buffer and the out-fence attached to it the
>>>> +``V4L2_EVENT_BUF_QUEUED`` event should be used. It will trigger an event
>>>> +for every buffer queued to the V4L2 driver.
>>> This makes no sense.
>>> Setting this flag means IMHO that when *this* buffer is queued up to the driver,
>>> then it should send the BUF_QUEUED event with an out fence.
>>> I.e. it signals that userspace wants to have the out-fence. The requirement w.r.t.
>>> ordering is that the BUF_QUEUED events have to be in order, but that is something
>>> that the driver can ensure in the case it is doing internal re-ordering.
>>> This requirement is something that needs to be documented here, BTW.
>>> Anyway, the flag shouldn't refer to some 'next buffer', since that's very confusing.
>> Just ignore this comment. I assume v4 will implement it like this.
> What approach do you mean by "like this". I'm confused now. :)
> In fact, I was in doubt between these two different approaches here.
> Should the flag mean *this* or the *next* buffer? The buffers can still
> be reordered at the videobuf2 level, because they might be waiting on
> in-fences and the fences may signal out of order. Then I went for the
> *next* buffer approach because we don't know that buffer for sure.
> But now thinking on this again we shouldn't have problems with the
> *this* buffer approach also.

It should mean *this* buffer. It's really weird to set this flag for one
buffer, only for it to mean 'next' buffer.

Keep it simple: the flag just means: send me the output fence fd for this
buffer once you have it. If it is not set, then no BUF_QUEUE event is sent.

Actually, it could mean one of two things: either if it is not set, then no
BUF_QUEUE event is sent, or if it is not set, then the fd in the BUF_QUEUE
event is -1.

I'm leaning towards the first. I can't see any use-case for sending that
event if you are not requesting out fences.



>> Regards,
>> Hans
>>>> +
>>>> +At streamoff the out-fences will either signal normally if the drivers wait
>>> s/drivers wait/driver waits/
>>>> +for the operations on the buffers to finish or signal with error if the
>>>> +driver cancel the pending operations.
>>> s/cancel/cancels/
>>> Thinking with my evil hat on:
>>> What happens if the application dequeues the buffer (VIDIOC_DQBUF) before
>>> dequeuing the BUF_QUEUED event? Or if the application doesn't call VIDIOC_DQEVENT
>>> at all? Should any pending BUF_QUEUED event with an out fence be removed from the
>>> event queue if the application calls DQBUF on the corresponding buffer?
> Good catch, we need to clean that up.
> Gustavo

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