Re: [RFC][PATCH 00/11] perf pmu interface -v2

From: Peter Zijlstra
Date: Mon Jun 28 2010 - 11:14:12 EST

On Sat, 2010-06-26 at 09:22 -0700, Corey Ashford wrote:

> These patches look like they are really taking us in the right
> direction. Thanks for all your effort on this!

Yeah, although I seem to have managed to wreck all architectures tested
so far (I found some iffy on x86 too), I guess I need to carefully look
at things.

> As for the "hardware write batching", can you describe a bit more about
> what you have in mind there? I wonder if this might have something to
> do with accounting for PMU hardware which is slow to access, for
> example, via I2C via an internal bridge.

Right, so the write batching is basically delaying writing out the PMU
state to hardware until pmu::pmu_enable() time. It avoids having to
re-program the hardware when, due to a scheduling constraint, we have to
move counters around.

So say, we context switch a task, and remove the old events and add the
new ones under a single pmu::pmu_disable()/::pmu_enable() pair, we will
only hit the hardware twice (once to disable, once to enable), instead
of for each individual ::del()/::add().

For this to work we need to have an association between a context and a
pmu, otherwise its very hard to know what pmu to disable/enable; the
alternative is all of them which isn't very attractive.

Then again, it doesn't make sense to have task-counters on an I2C
attached PMU simply because writing to the PMU could cause context

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