Re: RFC: revert request for cpuidle patches e11538d1 and 69a37bea

From: Lorenzo Pieralisi
Date: Mon Jul 29 2013 - 12:01:21 EST

On Mon, Jul 29, 2013 at 03:29:20PM +0100, Arjan van de Ven wrote:
> On 7/29/2013 7:14 AM, Lorenzo Pieralisi wrote:
> >>
> >>
> >> btw this is largely a misunderstanding;
> >> tasks are not the issue; tasks use timers and those are perfectly predictable.
> >> It's interrupts that are not and the heuristics are for that.
> >>
> >> Now, if your hardware does the really-bad-for-power wake-all on any interrupt,
> >> then the menu governor logic is not good for you; rather than looking at the next
> >> timer on the current cpu you need to look at the earliest timer on the set of bundled
> >> cpus as the upper bound of the next wake event.
> >
> > Yes, that's true and we have to look into this properly, but certainly
> > a wake-up for a CPU in a package C-state is not beneficial to x86 CPUs either,
> > or I am missing something ?
> a CPU core isn't in a package C state, the system is.
> (in a core C state the whole core is already powered down completely; a package C state
> just also turns off the memory controller/etc)
> package C states are global on x86 (not just per package); there's nothing one
> can do there in terms of grouping/etc.

So you are saying that package states are system states on x86 right ?
Now things are a bit clearer, I was a bit baffled at first when you
mentioned that package C-states allow PM to turn off DRAM controller,
the concept of package C-state is a bit misleading and does not resemble
much to what cluster states are now for ARM, that's why I asked in the
first place, thank you.

> > Even if the wake-up interrupts just power up one of the CPUs in a package
> > and leave other(s) alone, all HW state shared (ie caches) by those CPUs must
> > be turned on. What I am asking is: this bundled next event is a concept
> > that should apply to x86 CPUs too, or it is entirely managed in FW/HW
> > and the kernel just should not care ?
> on Intel x86 cpus, there's not really bundled concept. or rather, there is only 1 bundle
> (which amounts to the same thing).
> Yes in a multi-package setup there are some cache power effects... but there's
> not a lot one can do there.

On ARM there is, some basic optimizations like avoid cleaning caches if
an IRQ is pending or a next event is due shortly, for instance. The
difference is that on ARM cache management in done in SW and under
kernel or FW control (which in a way is closer to what x86 does, even
though I think on x86 most of power control is offloaded to HW).

Given what you said above, I understand that even on a multi-package system,
package C-states are global, not per package. That's a pivotal point.

> The other cores don't wake up, so they still make their own correct decisions.
> > I still do not understand how this "bundled" next event is managed on
> > x86 with the menu governor, or better why it is not managed at all, given
> > the importance of package C-states.
> package C states on x86 are basically OS invisible. The OS manages core level C states,
> the hardware manages the rest.
> The bundle part hurts you on a "one wakes all" system,
> not because of package level power effects, but because others wake up prematurely
> (compared to what they expected) which causes them to think future wakups will also
> be earlier. All because they get the "what is the next known event" wrong,
> and start correcting for known events instead of only for 'unpredictable' interrupts.

Well, reality is a bit more complex and probably less drastic, cores that are
woken up spuriosly can be put back to sleep without going through the governor
again, but your point is taken.

> Things will go very wonky if you do that for sure.
> (I've seen various simulation data on that, and the menu governor indeed acts quite poorly
> for that)

That's something we have been benchmarking, yes.

> >> And maybe even more special casing is needed... but I doubt it.
> >
> > I lost you here, can you elaborate pls ?
> well.. just looking at the earliest timer might not be enough; that timer might be on a different
> core that's still active, and may change after the current cpu has gone into an idle state.

Yes, I have worked on this, and certainly next events must be tied to
the state a core is in, the bare next event does not help.

> Fun.

Big :D

> Coupled C states on this level are a PAIN in many ways, and tend to totally suck for power
> due to this and the general "too much is active" reasons.

I think the trend is moving towards core gating, which resembles a lot to what
x86 world does today. Still, the interaction between menu governor and
cluster states has to be characterized and that's we are doing at the

Thank you very much,

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