Re: [PATCH 02/13] wifi: mwifiex: Use default @max_active for workqueues

From: Brian Norris
Date: Wed May 10 2023 - 15:50:51 EST

On Wed, May 10, 2023 at 09:19:20AM -1000, Tejun Heo wrote:
> On Wed, May 10, 2023 at 11:57:41AM -0700, Brian Norris wrote:
> > (1) much better (nearly the same as 4.19) if we add WQ_SYSFS and pin the
> > work queue to one CPU (doesn't really matter which CPU, as long as it's
> > not the one loaded with IRQ(?) work)
> >
> > (2) moderately better if we pin the CPU frequency (e.g., "performance"
> > cpufreq governor instead of "schedutil")
> >
> > (3) moderately better (not quite as good as (2)) if we switch a
> > kthread_worker and don't pin anything.
> Hmm... so it's not just workqueue.

Right. And not just cpufreq either.

> > We tried (2) because we saw a lot more CPU migration on kernel 5.15
> > (work moves across all 4 CPUs throughout the run; on kernel 4.19 it
> > mostly switched between 2 CPUs).
> Workqueue can contribute to this but it seems more likely that scheduling
> changes are also part of the story.

Yeah, that's one theory. And in that vein, that's one reason we might
consider switching to a kthread_worker anyway, even if that doesn't
solve all the regression -- because schedutil relies on per-entity load
calculations to make decisions, and workqueues don't help the scheduler
understand that load when spread across N CPUs (workers). A dedicated
kthread would better represent our workload to the scheduler.

(Threaded NAPI -- mwifiex doesn't support NAPI -- takes a similar
approach, as it has its own thread per NAPI context.)

> > We tried (3) suspecting some kind of EAS issue (instead of distributing
> > our workload onto 4 different kworkers, our work (and therefore our load
> > calculation) is mostly confined to a single kernel thread). But it still
> > seems like our issues are more than "just" EAS / cpufreq issues, since
> > (2) and (3) aren't as good as (1).
> >
> > NB: there weren't many relevant mwifiex or MTK-SDIO changes in this
> > range.
> >
> > So we're still investigating a few other areas, but it does seem like
> > "locality" (in some sense of the word) is relevant. We'd probably be
> > open to testing any patches you have, although it's likely we'd have the
> > easiest time if we can port those to 5.15. We're constantly working on
> > getting good upstream support for Chromebook chips, but ARM SoC reality
> > is that it still varies a lot as to how much works upstream on any given
> > system.
> I should be able to post the patchset later today or tomorrow. It comes with
> sysfs knobs to control affinity scopes and strictness, so hopefully you
> should be able to find the configuration that works without too much
> difficulty.