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SubjectRe: [announce] [patch] limiting IRQ load, irq-rewrite-2.4.11-B5
On Wed, 3 Oct 2001, Andreas Dilger wrote:

> If you get to the stage where you are turning off IRQs and going to a
> polling mode, then don't turn IRQs back on until you have a poll (or
> two or whatever) that there is no work to be done. This will at worst
> give you 50% polling success, but in practise you wouldn't start polling
> until there is lots of work to be done, so the real success rate will
> be much higher.
> At this point (no work to be done when polling) there are clearly no
> interrupts would be generated (because no packets have arrived), so it
> should be reasonable to turn interrupts back on and stop polling (assuming
> non-broken hardware). You now go back to interrupt-driven work until
> the rate increases again. This means you limit IRQ rates when needed,
> but only do one or two excess polls before going back to IRQ-driven work.
> Granted, I don't know what the overhead of turning the IRQs on and off
> is, but since we do it all the time already (for each ISR) it can't be
> that bad.
> If you are always having work to do when polling, then interrupts will
> never be turned on again, but who cares at that point because the work
> is getting done? Similarly, if you have IRQs disabled, but are sharing
> IRQs there is nothing wrong in polling all devices sharing that IRQ
> (at least conceptually).
> I don't know much about IRQ handlers, but I assume that this is already
> what happens if you are sharing an IRQ - you don't know which of many
> sources it comes from, so you poll all of them to see if they have any
> work to be done. If you are polling some of the shared-IRQ devices too
> frequently (i.e. they never have work to do), you could have some sort
> of progressive backoff, so you skip polling those for a growing number
> of polls (this could also be set by the driver if it knows that it could
> only generate real work every X ms, so we skip about X/poll_rate polls).

This seems a pretty nice solution that achieve 1) to limit the irq
frequency 2) avoid the huge shared irqs latency given by the irq masking.
By having a per irq # poll callbacks could give the opportunity to poll
"time to time" sharing devices during the offending device poll loop.

- Davide

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