[pulseaudio-discuss] [PATCH] Do not use tsched watermark if tsched is disabled

Tanu Kaskinen tanuk at iki.fi
Wed Aug 18 22:32:14 PDT 2010

On Wed, 2010-08-18 at 22:55 +0200, David Henningsson wrote:
> > Yes the safeguard is needed in both cases, timer scheduling or good
> > ol' audio interrupts. This comes from limitations of the
> > snd_pcm_rewind() routine, you can rewind the appl_ptr all the way to
> > the hardware pointer, but you may have DMA transfers in flight that
> > cannot be rewound. For example HDaudio can fetch up to 128bytes, I
> > added a default a safeguard of 256bytes to be super safe, but in
> > theory this should be adjusted depending on how the DMA operates. 
> Assuming your reasoning is correct (I'm not that deep into DMA yet),
> this should be fixed in the kernel - by not allowing rewinds further
> back than 128 (or 256) bytes ahead of actual position.
> You say HDA can transfer up to 128 bytes in advance, but what about all
> the other drivers? Could there be other drivers having a lot larger DMA
> fetches?

What's the role of snd_pcm_rewindable()[1]? The documentation says "Get
safe count of frames which can be rewinded", which sounds to me like the
function should always be called before snd_pcm_rewind(). Currently PA
doesn't call _rewindable().

> > The
> > DMA knows nothing about milliseconds, it behaves the same way no
> > matter the sampling rate it, which is the reason why bytes make more
> > sense, it's easier to correlate with the way the hardware works.
> So your idea is to prevent DMA transfers being modified, but I'm
> thinking of the maximum duration between the rewind and the point it
> gets filled up again by PA - all of that time we risc getting an XRUN
> because there is nothing in the buffer. And so I assume that the
> duration is never longer than 20 ms.
> I don't think it is much of a deal though. Rewind is not something used
> every second or so (or at least, shouldn't be).

A comment on the last statement: I don't think the average frequency of
rewinds is important, because there are cases where multiple rewinds do
happen really quickly - for example when dragging a volume slider (IIRC
pavucontrol ratelimits the volume change events to minimum of 100ms
between each event sent to the daemon - that's still ten times a
second). I don't remember hearing complaints about that the volume is
crackling when changing volumes, but at least in theory this seems like
a possible problem with the current implementation.

[1] http://www.alsa-project.org/alsa-doc/alsa-lib/group___p_c_m.html#g8f56faf60ea6b60839e131df88f080d7

Tanu Kaskinen

More information about the pulseaudio-discuss mailing list