Re: [PATCH 1/4] Add clock_gettime_ns syscall

From: Andy Lutomirski
Date: Wed Dec 28 2011 - 18:42:42 EST

On Wed, Dec 28, 2011 at 2:45 PM, Arun Sharma <asharma@xxxxxx> wrote:
> On Wed, Dec 28, 2011 at 12:13:37PM -0800, Andy Lutomirski wrote:
>> > How about returning a (signed) long as the time in ns? This way, we save
>> a store and a load and the value can be passed in registers.
>> >
>> > This shouldn't preclude future expansion via extra args.
>> With an unconditional store to a pointer?  If a null pointer is allowed,
>> the branch will probably kill any performance gain.
> No - please see the patch below.
>> The downside is that this is probably a non-starter for a syscall on 32-bit
>> architectures.  I'll see what the i386 ABI says.  I wonder if returning a
>> struct will use registers for future expansion.
> I was thinking of doing something similar to lseek() on 32 bit archs
> (i.e. by using a type similar to off_t that maps to the right thing for
> both 32 and 64 bit).

Huh? That nanosecond count really needs to be 64 bits (or more).
2^32 nanoseconds is a rather short time.

> I used the code below to benchmark the performance of clock_gettime()
> vs clock_gettime_ns() when the client is interested in a nanosec based
> interface.
> gettimespec: 3.19 secs
> getns: 2.54 secs (21% faster)
>  -Arun
> PS: I didn't have to delete struct timens. I meant to drop timens.ns
> (since its the return value now).

How are you keeping the ability to add extra fields?

FWIW, returning a long long on i386 generates nice code (two registers
used), but returning a struct bigger than 64 bits uses a pointer
passed in via the stack (i.e. worse than passing a pointer as a
parameter). Returning a struct with two 64-bit ints on x86-64 uses
registers, which is rather unfortunate.

Something like:

u64 __vdso_clock_gettime_ns(clock_t clockid, struct timens_extra *extra)
extra->padding = 0;
return <the time>;

might be okay.
To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-kernel" in
the body of a message to majordomo@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
More majordomo info at
Please read the FAQ at