[Intel-gfx] [PATCH 3/7] drm/i915: Add per context timelines to fence object

John Harrison John.C.Harrison at Intel.com
Mon Jan 11 11:03:32 PST 2016

On 08/01/2016 22:05, Chris Wilson wrote:
> On Fri, Jan 08, 2016 at 06:47:24PM +0000, John.C.Harrison at Intel.com wrote:
>> From: John Harrison <John.C.Harrison at Intel.com>
>> The fence object used inside the request structure requires a sequence
>> number. Although this is not used by the i915 driver itself, it could
>> potentially be used by non-i915 code if the fence is passed outside of
>> the driver. This is the intention as it allows external kernel drivers
>> and user applications to wait on batch buffer completion
>> asynchronously via the dma-buff fence API.
> That doesn't make any sense as they are not limited by a single
> timeline.
I don't understand what you mean. Who is not limited by a single 
timeline?  The point is that the current seqno values cannot be used as 
there is no guarantee that they will increment globally once things like 
a scheduler and pre-emption arrive. Whereas, the fence internal 
implementation makes various assumptions about the linearity of the 
timeline. External users do not want to care about timelines or seqnos 
at all, they just want the fence API to work as documented.

>> To ensure that such external users are not confused by strange things
>> happening with the seqno, this patch adds in a per context timeline
>> that can provide a guaranteed in-order seqno value for the fence. This
>> is safe because the scheduler will not re-order batch buffers within a
>> context - they are considered to be mutually dependent.
> You haven't added per-context breadcrumbs. What we need for being able
> to execute requests from parallel timelines, but with requests within a
> timeline being ordered, is a per-context page where we can emit the
> per-context issued breadcrumb. Then instead of looking up the current
> HW seqno in a global page, the request just looks at the current context
> HW seqno in the context seq, just
> i915_seqno_passed(*req->p_context_seqno, req->seqno).
This patch is not attempting to implement per context seqno values. That 
can be done as future work. This patch is doing the simplest, least 
invasive implementation in order to make external fences work.

> The retirment ordered requests lists are moved from the engine to the
> context and retirement cleanup are restricted to the context.
> -Chris

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