Re: [PATCH 4/8] ARCv2: perf: Support sampling events using overflow interrupts

From: Peter Zijlstra
Date: Tue Jun 16 2015 - 05:07:47 EST

On Tue, Jun 16, 2015 at 05:37:40AM +0000, Vineet Gupta wrote:
> On Monday 15 June 2015 09:55 PM, Peter Zijlstra wrote:
> > On Tue, Jun 09, 2015 at 05:49:28PM +0530, Vineet Gupta wrote:
> >> + if (arc_pmu->has_interrupts) {
> >> + int irq = platform_get_irq(pdev, 0);
> > Hmm, so you're requesting a regular interrupt.
> >
> > I see your architecture has IRQ priorities, could you play games and
> > create NMIs using those?
> >
> > For example, never mask L1 (assuming that's the highest priority) and
> > treat that as an NMI.
> I've had this idea before, however, while ARCv2 provides hardware interrupt
> priorities, we really can't implement true NMI, because CLRI / SETI used at
> backend of loal_irq_save() / restore() impact all priorities (statsu32 register
> has a global enable interrupt bit which these wiggle). So e.g. a
> spin_lock_irqsave() will lock out even the perf interrupt.

Hmm, bugger. I (of course) only looked at the kernel source, since that
is all I have, and the current arch/arc/ frobs with those two En bits in

So arcv2 changed all that, shame.

> OTOH, we can improve the perf isr path a bit - by not routing it thru regular
> interrupt return path (song and dance of CONFIG_PREEMPT_IRQ and possible
> preemption). Plus there's a bit more we can do in the isr itself - not looping
> thru 32 counters etc using ffs() etc - but I'd rather do that as separate series,
> once we have the core support in.

Yeah, borderline useful though, the reason the NMI thing is so useful is
that you can profile _inside_ IRQ-disabled regions. Now your
local_irq_enable() et al will be the hottest functions ever :-)

Regular interrupts are really only useful for userspace profiling, which
if plenty useful on its own of course. But kernel profiling is very
handy too :-)
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