[PATCH v2 0/3] perf: use hrtimer for event multiplexing

From: Stephane Eranian
Date: Wed Sep 12 2012 - 10:13:35 EST

The current scheme of using the timer tick was fine
for per-thread events. However, it was causing
bias issues in system-wide mode (including for
uncore PMUs). Event groups would not get their
fair share of runtime on the PMU. With tickless
kernels, if a core is idle there is no timer tick,
and thus no event rotation (multiplexing). However,
there are events (especially uncore events) which do
count even though cores are asleep.

This patch changes the timer source for multiplexing.
It introduces a per-cpu hrtimer. The advantage is that
even when the core goes idle, it will come back to
service the hrtimer, thus multiplexing on system-wide
events works much better.

In order to minimize the impact of the hrtimer, it
is turned on and off on demand. When the PMU on
a CPU is overcommited, the hrtimer is activated.
It is stopped when the PMU is not overcommitted.

In order for this to work properly with HOTPLUG_CPU,
we had to change the order of initialization in
start_kernel() such that hrtimer_init() is run
before perf_event_init().

The second patch provide a sysctl control to
adjust the multiplexing interval. Unit is

Here is a simple before/after example with
two event groups which do require multiplexing.
This is done in system-wide mode on an idle
system. What matters here is the scaling factor
in [] in not the total counts.


# perf stat -a -e ref-cycles,ref-cycles sleep 10
Performance counter stats for 'sleep 10':
34,319,545 ref-cycles [56.51%]
31,917,229 ref-cycles [43.50%]

10.000827569 seconds time elapsed

# perf stat -a -e ref-cycles,ref-cycles sleep 10
Performance counter stats for 'sleep 10':
11,144,822,193 ref-cycles [50.00%]
11,103,760,513 ref-cycles [50.00%]

10.000672946 seconds time elapsed

In this second version of the patchset, we now
have the hrtimer_interval per PMU instance. The
tunable is in /sys/devices/XXX/mux_interval_ms,
where XXX is the name of the PMU instance. Due
to initialization changes of each hrtimer, we
had to introduce hrtimer_init_cpu() to initialize
a hrtimer from another CPU.

Signed-off-by: Stephane Eranian <eranian@xxxxxxxxxx>

Stephane Eranian (3):
hrtimer: add hrtimer_init_cpu()
perf: use hrtimer for event multiplexing
perf: add sysfs entry to adjust multiplexing interval per PMU

include/linux/hrtimer.h | 2 +
include/linux/perf_event.h | 5 +-
init/main.c | 2 +-
kernel/events/core.c | 166 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++---
kernel/hrtimer.c | 17 +++--
5 files changed, 176 insertions(+), 16 deletions(-)


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