[PATCH 1/2]: powerpc/cell spidernet bottom half

Linas Vepstas linas at austin.ibm.com
Thu Aug 17 06:30:43 EST 2006

On Wed, Aug 16, 2006 at 12:30:29PM -0400, Jeff Garzik wrote:
> Linas Vepstas wrote:
> >
> >The recent set of low-waterark patches for the spider result in a
> Let's not reinvented NAPI, shall we...


I was under the impression that NAPI was for the receive side only.
This round of patches were for the transmit queue.

Let me describe the technical problem; perhaps there's some other
solution for it?  

The default socket size seems to be 128KB; (cat
/proc/sys/net/core/wmem_default) if a user application
writes more than 128 KB to a socket, the app is blocked by the 
kernel till there's room in the socket for more.  At gigabit speeds,
a network card can drain 128KB in about a millisecond, or about
four times a jiffy (assuming  HZ=250).  If the network card isn't
generaing interrupts, (and there are no other interrupts flying 
around) then the tcp stack only wakes up once a jiffy, and so 
the user app is scheduled only once a jiffy.  Thus, the max
bandwidth that the app can see is (HZ * wmem_default) bytes per 
second, or about 250 Mbits/sec for my system.  Disappointing 
for a gigabit adapter.

There's three ways out of this: 

(1) tell the sysadmin to 
    "echo 1234567 > /proc/sys/net/core/wmem_default" which 
    violates all the rules.

(2) Poll more frequently than once-a-jiffy. Arnd Bergmann and I 
    got this working, using hrtimers. It worked pretty well,
    but seemed like a hack to me.

(3) Generate transmit queue low-watermark interrupts, 
    which is an admitedly olde-fashioned but common
    engineering practice.  This round of patches implement 


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