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SubjectRe: page fault scalability patch V12 [0/7]: Overview and performance tests
Andy Warner wrote:
> Jeff Garzik wrote:
>>I am currently chasing a 2.6.8->2.6.9 SATA regression, which causes
>>ata_piix (Intel ICH5/6/7) to not-find some SATA devices on x86-64 SMP,
>>but works on UP. Potentially related to >=4GB of RAM.
>>Details, in case anyone is interested:
>>Unless my code is screwed up (certainly possible), PIO data-in [using
>>the insw() call] seems to return all zeroes on a true-blue SMP machine,
>>for the identify-device command. When this happens, libata (correctly)
>>detects a bad id page and bails. (problem doesn't show up on single CPU
>>w/ HT)
> Ah, I might have been here recently, with the pass-thru stuff.
> What I saw was that in an SMP machine:
> 1. queue_work() can result in the work running (on another
> CPU) instantly.
> 2. Having one CPU beat on PIO registers reading data from one port
> would significantly alter the timing of the CMD->BSY->DRQ sequence
> used in PIO. This behaviour was far worse for competing ports
> within one chip, which I put down to arbitration problems.
> 3. CPU utilisation would go through the roof. Effectively the
> entire pio_task state machine reduced to a busy spin loop.
> 4. The state machine needed some tweaks, especially in error
> handling cases.
> I made some changes, which effectively solved the problem for promise
> TX4-150 cards, and was going to test the results on other chipsets
> next week before speaking up. Specifically, I have seen some
> issues with SiI 3114 cards.
> I was trying to explore using interrupts instead of polling state
> but for some reason, I was not getting them for PIO data operations,
> or I misunderstand the spec, after removing ata_qc_set_polling() - again
> I saw a difference in behaviour between the Promise & SiI cards
> here.
> I'm about to go offline for 3 days, and hadn't prepared for this
> yet. The best I can do is provide a patch (attached) that applies
> against 2.6.9. It also seems to apply against libata-2.6, but
> barfs a bit against libata-dev-2.6.
> The changes boil down to these:
> 1. Minor changes in how status/error regs are read.
> Including attempts to use altstatus, while I was
> exploring interrupts.
> 2. State machine logic changes.
> 3. Replace calls to queue_work() with queue_delayed_work()
> to stop SMP machines going crazy.
> With these changes, on a platform consisting of 2.6.9 and
> Promise TX4-150 cards, I can move terabytes of parallel
> PIO data, without error.
> My gut says that the PIO mechanism should be overhauled, I
> composed a "how much should we pay for this muffler" email
> to linux-ide at least twice while working on this, but never
> sent it - wanting to send a solution in rather than just
> making more comments from the peanut gallery.
> I'll pick up the thread on this next week, when I'm back online.
> I hope this helps.

Please let me know if you still have problems?

The PIO SMP problems seem to be fixed here.


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