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SubjectRe: [RFC PATCH 00/16] drm/rockchip: Rockchip EBC ("E-Book Controller") display driver
On Tue, May 31, 2022 at 10:58:35AM +0200, Maxime Ripard wrote:
> Hi Daniel,
>
> Thanks for your feedback
>
> On Wed, May 25, 2022 at 07:18:07PM +0200, Daniel Vetter wrote:
> > > > VBLANK Events and Asynchronous Commits
> > > > ======================================
> > > > When should the VBLANK event complete? When the pixels have been blitted
> > > > to the kernel's shadow buffer? When the first frame of the waveform is
> > > > sent to the panel? When the last frame is sent to the panel?
> > > >
> > > > Currently, the driver is taking the first option, letting
> > > > drm_atomic_helper_fake_vblank() send the VBLANK event without waiting on
> > > > the refresh thread. This is the only way I was able to get good
> > > > performance with existing userspace.
> > >
> > > I've been having the same kind of discussions in private lately, so I'm
> > > interested by the answer as well :)
> > >
> > > It would be worth looking into the SPI/I2C panels for this, since it's
> > > basically the same case.
> >
> > So it's maybe a bit misnamed and maybe kerneldocs aren't super clear (pls
> > help improve them), but there's two modes:
> >
> > - drivers which have vblank, which might be somewhat variable (VRR) or
> > become simulated (self-refresh panels), but otherwise is a more-or-less
> > regular clock. For this case the atomic commit event must match the
> > vblank events exactly (frame count and timestamp)
>
> Part of my interrogation there is do we have any kind of expectation
> on whether or not, when we commit, the next vblank is going to be the
> one matching that commit or we're allowed to defer it by an arbitrary
> number of frames (provided that the frame count and timestamps are
> correct) ?

In general yes, but there's no guarantee. The only guarante we give for
drivers with vblank counters is that if you receive a vblank event (flip
complete or vblank event) for frame #n, then an immediate flip/atomic
ioctl call will display earliest for frame #n+1.

Also usually you should be able to hit #n+1, but even today with fun stuff
like self refresh panels getting out of self refresh mode might take a bit
more than a few frames, and so you might end up being late. But otoh if
you just do a page flip loop then on average (after the crtc is fully
resumed) you should be able to update at vrefresh rate exactly.

> > - drivers which don't have vblank at all, mostly these are i2c/spi panels
> > or virtual hw and stuff like that. In this case the event simply happens
> > when the driver is done with refresh/upload, and the frame count should
> > be zero (since it's meaningless).
> >
> > Unfortuantely the helper to dtrt has fake_vblank in it's name, maybe
> > should be renamed to no_vblank or so (the various flags that control it
> > are a bit better named).
> >
> > Again the docs should explain it all, but maybe we should clarify them or
> > perhaps rename that helper to be more meaningful.
> >
> > > > Blitting/Blending in Software
> > > > =============================
> > > > There are multiple layers to this topic (pun slightly intended):
> > > > 1) Today's userspace does not expect a grayscale framebuffer.
> > > > Currently, the driver advertises XRGB8888 and converts to Y4
> > > > in software. This seems to match other drivers (e.g. repaper).
> > > >
> > > > 2) Ignoring what userspace "wants", the closest existing format is
> > > > DRM_FORMAT_R8. Geert sent a series[4] adding DRM_FORMAT_R1 through
> > > > DRM_FORMAT_R4 (patch 9), which I believe are the "correct" formats
> > > > to use.
> > > >
> > > > 3) The RK356x SoCs have an "RGA" hardware block that can do the
> > > > RGB-to-grayscale conversion, and also RGB-to-dithered-monochrome
> > > > which is needed for animation/video. Currently this is exposed with
> > > > a V4L2 platform driver. Can this be inserted into the pipeline in a
> > > > way that is transparent to userspace? Or must some userspace library
> > > > be responsible for setting up the RGA => EBC pipeline?
> > >
> > > I'm very interested in this answer as well :)
> > >
> > > I think the current consensus is that it's up to userspace to set this
> > > up though.
> >
> > Yeah I think v4l mem2mem device is the answer for these, and then
> > userspace gets to set it all up.
>
> I think the question wasn't really about where that driver should be,
> but more about who gets to set it up, and if the kernel could have
> some component to expose the formats supported by the converter, but
> whenever a commit is being done pipe that to the v4l2 device before
> doing a page flip.
>
> We have a similar use-case for the RaspberryPi where the hardware
> codec will produce a framebuffer format that isn't standard. That
> format is understood by the display pipeline, and it can do
> writeback.
>
> However, some people are using a separate display (like a SPI display
> supported by tinydrm) and we would still like to be able to output the
> decoded frames there.
>
> Is there some way we could plumb things to "route" that buffer through
> the writeback engine to perform a format conversion before sending it
> over to the SPI display automatically?

Currently not transparently. Or at least no one has done that, and I'm not
sure that's really a great idea. With big gpus all that stuff is done with
separate command submission to the render side of things, and you can
fully pipeline all that with in/out-fences.

Doing that in the kms driver side in the kernel feels very wrong to me :-/
-Daniel
--
Daniel Vetter
Software Engineer, Intel Corporation
http://blog.ffwll.ch

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