[Intel-gfx] [PATCH 037/190] drm/i915: Add background commentary to "waitboosting"

Chris Wilson chris at chris-wilson.co.uk
Mon Jan 11 01:16:48 PST 2016

Describe the intent of boosting the GPU frequency to maximum before
waiting on the GPU.

RPS waitboosting was introduced with

commit b29c19b645287f7062e17d70fa4e9781a01a5d88
Author: Chris Wilson <chris at chris-wilson.co.uk>
Date:   Wed Sep 25 17:34:56 2013 +0100

    drm/i915: Boost RPS frequency for CPU stalls

but lacked a concise comment in the code to explain itself.

Signed-off-by: Chris Wilson <chris at chris-wilson.co.uk>
Reviewed-by: Daniel Vetter <daniel.vetter at ffwll.ch>
 drivers/gpu/drm/i915/i915_gem.c | 16 ++++++++++++++++
 1 file changed, 16 insertions(+)

diff --git a/drivers/gpu/drm/i915/i915_gem.c b/drivers/gpu/drm/i915/i915_gem.c
index 3fea582768e9..3948e85eaa48 100644
--- a/drivers/gpu/drm/i915/i915_gem.c
+++ b/drivers/gpu/drm/i915/i915_gem.c
@@ -1244,6 +1244,22 @@ int __i915_wait_request(struct drm_i915_gem_request *req,
+	/* This client is about to stall waiting for the GPU. In many cases
+	 * this is undesirable and limits the throughput of the system, as
+	 * many clients cannot continue processing user input/output whilst
+	 * blocked. RPS autotuning may take tens of milliseconds to respond
+	 * to the GPU load and thus incurs additional latency for the client.
+	 * We can circumvent that by promoting the GPU frequency to maximum
+	 * before we wait. This makes the GPU throttle up much more quickly
+	 * (good for benchmarks and user experience, e.g. window animations),
+	 * but at a cost of spending more power processing the workload
+	 * (bad for battery). Not all clients even want their results
+	 * immediately and for them we should just let the GPU select its own
+	 * frequency to maximise efficiency. To prevent a single client from
+	 * forcing the clocks too high for the whole system, we only allow
+	 * each client to waitboost once in a busy period.
+	 */
 	if (INTEL_INFO(req->i915)->gen >= 6)
 		gen6_rps_boost(req->i915, rps, req->emitted_jiffies);

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