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SubjectRe: Support for 2D engines/blitters in V4L2 and DRM
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Hi,

On Wed, 2019-04-24 at 16:39 +0200, Michel Dänzer wrote:
> On 2019-04-24 2:01 p.m., Nicolas Dufresne wrote:
> > Le mercredi 24 avril 2019 à 10:31 +0200, Michel Dänzer a écrit :
> > > On 2019-04-19 10:38 a.m., Paul Kocialkowski wrote:
> > > > On Thu, 2019-04-18 at 20:30 -0400, Nicolas Dufresne wrote:
> > > > > Le jeudi 18 avril 2019 à 10:18 +0200, Daniel Vetter a écrit :
> > > > > In the first, we'd need a mechanism where we can schedule a render at a
> > > > > specific time or vblank. We can of course already implement this in
> > > > > software, but with fences, the scheduling would need to be done in the
> > > > > driver. Then if the fence is signalled earlier, the driver should hold
> > > > > on until the delay is met. If the fence got signalled late, we also
> > > > > need to think of a workflow. As we can't schedule more then one render
> > > > > in DRM at one time, I don't really see yet how to make that work.
> > > >
> > > > Indeed, that's also one of the main issues I've spotted. Before using
> > > > an implicit fence, we basically have to make sure the frame is due for
> > > > display at the next vblank. Otherwise, we need to refrain from using
> > > > the fence and schedule the flip later, which is kind of counter-
> > > > productive.
> > >
> > > Fences are about signalling that the contents of a frame are "done" and
> > > ready to be presented. They're not about specifying which frame is to be
> > > presented when.
> > >
> > >
> > > > I feel like specifying a target vblank would be a good unit for that,
> > >
> > > The mechanism described above works for that.
> > >
> > > > since it's our native granularity after all (while a timestamp is not).
> > >
> > > Note that variable refresh rate (Adaptive Sync / FreeSync / G-Sync)
> > > changes things in this regard. It makes the vblank length variable, and
> > > if you wait for multiple vblanks between flips, you get the maximum
> > > vblank length corresponding to the minimum refresh rate / timing
> > > granularity. Thus, it would be useful to allow userspace to specify a
> > > timestamp corresponding to the earliest time when the flip is to
> > > complete. The kernel could then try to hit that as closely as possible.
> >
> > Rendering a video stream is more complex then what you describe here.
> > Whenever there is a unexpected delay (late delivery of a frame as an
> > example) you may endup in situation where one frame is ready after the
> > targeted vblank. If there is another frame that targets the following
> > vblank that gets ready on-time, the previous frame should be replaced
> > by the most recent one.
> >
> > With fences, what happens is that even if you received the next frame
> > on time, naively replacing it is not possible, because we don't know
> > when the fence for the next frame will be signalled. If you simply
> > always replace the current frame, you may endup skipping a lot more
> > vblank then what you expect, and that results in jumpy playback.
>
> So you want to be able to replace a queued flip with another one then.
> That doesn't necessarily require allowing more than one flip to be
> queued ahead of time.

There might be other ways to do it, but this one has plenty of
advantages.

> Note that this can also be done in userspace with explicit fencing (by
> only selecting a frame and submitting it to the kernel after all
> corresponding fences have signalled), at least to some degree, but the
> kernel should be able to do it up to a later point in time and more
> reliably, with less risk of missing a flip for a frame which becomes
> ready just in time.

Indeed, but it would be great if we could do that with implicit fencing
as well.

> > Render queues with timestamp are used to smooth rendering and handle
> > rendering collision so that the latency is kept low (like when you have
> > a 100fps video over a 60Hz display). This is normally done in
> > userspace, but with fences, you ask the kernel to render something in
> > an unpredictable future, so we loose the ability to make the final
> > decision.
>
> That's just not what fences are intended to be used for with the current
> KMS UAPI.

Yes, and I think we're discussing towards changing that in the future.

Cheers,

Paul

--
Paul Kocialkowski, Bootlin
Embedded Linux and kernel engineering
https://bootlin.com

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