[Techteam] XO-1.5 Kernel Update (i.e My Weekly Status)

Benjamin M. Schwartz bmschwar at fas.harvard.edu
Mon Jul 20 16:16:54 EDT 2009

Richard A. Smith wrote:
> In any case time based suspend is not where we want to go anyway.  We 
> need proper idle detection and some sort of API such that apps which 
> have a workload that idle detection is difficult can specify that they 
> need idle-suspend.

I'm repeating myself (I promise I'll stop) but the method for this in
Linux is "cpuidle".[1]  cpuidle is incredibly poorly advertised, but it's
a very good system.  It maintains a list of all available CPU states,
along with the latency to enter and exit them.  Because it operates inside
the kernel, mode selection can be made with full knowledge of any upcoming
timed wakeup requests from userspace.

To handle unpredictable interrupts, cpuidle uses recent history to predict
the frequency of future interrupts, and then chooses processor states to
meet an associated latency requirement.  It seems likely to me that this
will avoid any need for a special idleness API.

cpuidle is already used by the kernel to select the ACPI state, but it is
possible to add more states as well.  Therefore, it seems to me that the
logical thing to do is to add the "frozen" state to cpuidle's menu.


[1] http://lwn.net/Articles/221791/

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