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Date:   Tue, 2 Apr 2019 17:21:17 -0700
From:   Matthias Kaehlcke <mka@...omium.org>
To:     Doug Anderson <dianders@...omium.org>
Cc:     Benson Leung <bleung@...omium.org>,
        Enric Balletbo i Serra <enric.balletbo@...labora.com>,
        Alexandru M Stan <amstan@...omium.org>,
        "open list:ARM/Rockchip SoC..." <linux-rockchip@...ts.infradead.org>,
        Simon Glass <sjg@...omium.org>,
        Brian Norris <briannorris@...omium.org>,
        Guenter Roeck <groeck@...omium.org>,
        Mark Brown <broonie@...nel.org>,
        Ryan Case <ryandcase@...omium.org>,
        Randall Spangler <rspangler@...omium.org>,
        Heiko Stübner <heiko@...ech.de>,
        LKML <linux-kernel@...r.kernel.org>
Subject: Re: [PATCH] platform/chrome: cros_ec_spi: Transfer messages at high
 priority

On Tue, Apr 02, 2019 at 04:38:29PM -0700, Doug Anderson wrote:
> Hi,
> 
> On Tue, Apr 2, 2019 at 4:19 PM Matthias Kaehlcke <mka@...omium.org> wrote:
> >
> > Hi Doug,
> >
> > On Tue, Apr 02, 2019 at 03:44:44PM -0700, Douglas Anderson wrote:
> > > The software running on the Chrome OS Embedded Controller (cros_ec)
> > > handles SPI transfers in a bit of a wonky way.  Specifically if the EC
> > > sees too long of a delay in a SPI transfer it will give up and the
> > > transfer will be counted as failed.  Unfortunately the timeout is
> > > fairly short, though the actual number may be different for different
> > > EC codebases.
> > >
> > > We can end up tripping the timeout pretty easily if we happen to
> > > preempt the task running the SPI transfer and don't get back to it for
> > > a little while.
> > >
> > > Historically this hasn't been a _huge_ deal because:
> > > 1. On old devices Chrome OS used to run PREEMPT_VOLUNTARY.  That meant
> > >    we were pretty unlikely to take a big break from the transfer.
> > > 2. On recent devices we had faster / more processors.
> > > 3. Recent devices didn't use "cros-ec-spi-pre-delay".  Using that
> > >    delay makes us more likely to trip this use case.
> > > 4. For whatever reasons (I didn't dig) old kernels seem to be less
> > >    likely to trip this.
> > > 5. For the most part it's kinda OK if a few transfers to the EC fail.
> > >    Mostly we're just polling the battery or doing some other task
> > >    where we'll try again.
> > >
> > > Even with the above things, this issue has reared its ugly head
> > > periodically.  We could solve this in a nice way by adding reliable
> > > retries to the EC protocol [1] or by re-designing the code in the EC
> > > codebase to allow it to wait longer, but that code doesn't ever seem
> > > to get changed.  ...and even if it did, it wouldn't help old devices.
> > >
> > > It's now time to finally take a crack at making this a little better.
> > > This patch isn't guaranteed to make every cros_ec SPI transfer
> > > perfect, but it should improve things by a few orders of magnitude.
> > > Specifically you can try this on a rk3288-veyron Chromebook (which is
> > > slower and also _does_ need "cros-ec-spi-pre-delay"):
> > >   md5sum /dev/zero &
> > >   md5sum /dev/zero &
> > >   md5sum /dev/zero &
> > >   md5sum /dev/zero &
> > >   while true; do
> > >     cat /sys/class/power_supply/sbs-20-000b/charge_now > /dev/null;
> > >   done
> > > ...before this patch you'll see boatloads of errors.  After this patch I
> > > don't see any in the testing I did.
> > >
> > > The way this patch works is by effectively boosting the priority of
> > > the cros_ec transfers.  As far as I know there is no simple way to
> > > just boost the priority of the current process temporarily so the way
> > > we accomplish this is by creating a "WQ_HIGHPRI" workqueue and doing
> > > the transfers there.
> > >
> > > NOTE: this patch relies on the fact that the SPI framework attempts to
> > > push the messages out on the calling context (which is the one that is
> > > boosted to high priority).  As I understand from earlier (long ago)
> > > discussions with Mark Brown this should be a fine assumption.  Even if
> > > it isn't true sometimes this patch will still not make things worse.
> > >
> > > [1] https://crbug.com/678675
> > >
> > > Signed-off-by: Douglas Anderson <dianders@...omium.org>
> > > ---
> > >
> > >  drivers/platform/chrome/cros_ec_spi.c | 107 ++++++++++++++++++++++++--
> > >  1 file changed, 101 insertions(+), 6 deletions(-)
> > >
> > > diff --git a/drivers/platform/chrome/cros_ec_spi.c b/drivers/platform/chrome/cros_ec_spi.c
> > > index ffc38f9d4829..101f2deb7d3c 100644
> > > --- a/drivers/platform/chrome/cros_ec_spi.c
> > > +++ b/drivers/platform/chrome/cros_ec_spi.c
> > >
> > > ...
> > >
> > > +static int cros_ec_pkt_xfer_spi(struct cros_ec_device *ec_dev,
> > > +                             struct cros_ec_command *ec_msg)
> > > +{
> > > +     struct cros_ec_spi *ec_spi = ec_dev->priv;
> > > +     struct cros_ec_xfer_work_params params;
> > > +
> > > +     INIT_WORK(&params.work, cros_ec_pkt_xfer_spi_work);
> > > +     params.ec_dev = ec_dev;
> > > +     params.ec_msg = ec_msg;
> > > +
> > > +     queue_work(ec_spi->high_pri_wq, &params.work);
> > > +     flush_workqueue(ec_spi->high_pri_wq);
> >
> > IIRC dedicated workqueues should be avoided unless they are needed. In
> > this case it seems you could use system_highpri_wq + a
> > completion. This would add a few extra lines to deal with the
> > completion, in exchange the code to create the workqueue could be
> > removed.
> 
> I'm not convinced using the "system_highpri_wq" is a great idea here.
> Using flush_workqueue() on the "system_highpri_wq" seems like a recipe
> for deadlock but I need to flush to get the result back.  See the
> comments in flush_scheduled_work() for some discussion here.
> 
> I guess you're suggesting using a completion instead of the flush but
> I think the deadlock potentials are the same.  If we're currently
> running on the "system_highpri_wq" (because one of our callers
> happened to be on it) or there are some shared resources between
> another user of the "system_highpri_wq" and us then we'll just sitting
> waiting for the completion, won't we?

I'm no workqueue expert, but I think the deadlock potential isn't the same:

With flush_workqueue() the deadlock would occur when running as work
item of the the same workqueue, i.e. the work is waiting for itself.

If we are running on "system_highpri_wq", schedule a new work on this
workqueue and wait for it, the Concurrency Managed Workqueue (cmwq)
will launch a worker for our work, which can run while we are waiting
for the work and be woken up when it is done.

(https://www.kernel.org/doc/html/v5.0/core-api/workqueue.html)

Other users of "system_highpri_wq" shouldn't cause long delays, unless
they are CPU hogs, which could/should be considered a bug.

> I would bet that currently nobody actually ends up in this situation
> because there aren't lots of users of the "system_highpri_wq", but it
> still doesn't seem like a good design.  Is it really that expensive to
> have our own workqueue?

I don't think it's excessively expensive, but why use the extra
resources and lifetime management code if it doesn't provide any
significant advantages? In terms of deadlocks I even have the
impression the wq + completion is a more robust solution.

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