[PATCH v9 10/15] media: uapi: Add V4L2_CTRL_TYPE_FIXED_POINT

Hans Verkuil hverkuil at xs4all.nl
Wed Nov 15 20:13:05 AEDT 2023

On 15/11/2023 09:45, Tomasz Figa wrote:
> On Wed, Nov 15, 2023 at 5:09 PM Hans Verkuil <hverkuil at xs4all.nl> wrote:
>> Hi Laurent,
>> On 13/11/2023 13:44, Laurent Pinchart wrote:
>>> Hi Hans,
>>> On Mon, Nov 13, 2023 at 01:05:12PM +0100, Hans Verkuil wrote:
>>>> On 13/11/2023 12:43, Laurent Pinchart wrote:
>>>>> On Mon, Nov 13, 2023 at 11:28:51AM +0000, Sakari Ailus wrote:
>>>>>> On Mon, Nov 13, 2023 at 12:24:14PM +0100, Hans Verkuil wrote:
>>>>>>> On 13/11/2023 12:07, Laurent Pinchart wrote:
>>>>>>>> On Mon, Nov 13, 2023 at 11:56:49AM +0100, Hans Verkuil wrote:
>>>>>>>>> On 13/11/2023 11:42, Laurent Pinchart wrote:
>>>>>>>>>> On Mon, Nov 13, 2023 at 11:29:09AM +0100, Hans Verkuil wrote:
>>>>>>>>>>> On 10/11/2023 06:48, Shengjiu Wang wrote:
>>>>>>>>>>>> Fixed point controls are used by the user to configure
>>>>>>>>>>>> a fixed point value in 64bits, which Q31.32 format.
>>>>>>>>>>>> Signed-off-by: Shengjiu Wang <shengjiu.wang at nxp.com>
>>>>>>>>>>> This patch adds a new control type. This is something that also needs to be
>>>>>>>>>>> tested by v4l2-compliance, and for that we need to add support for this to
>>>>>>>>>>> one of the media test-drivers. The best place for that is the vivid driver,
>>>>>>>>>>> since that has already a bunch of test controls for other control types.
>>>>>>>>>>> See e.g. VIVID_CID_INTEGER64 in vivid-ctrls.c.
>>>>>>>>>>> Can you add a patch adding a fixed point test control to vivid?
>>>>>>>>>> I don't think V4L2_CTRL_TYPE_FIXED_POINT is a good idea. This seems to
>>>>>>>>>> relate more to units than control types. We have lots of fixed-point
>>>>>>>>>> values in controls already, using the 32-bit and 64-bit integer control
>>>>>>>>>> types. They use various locations for the decimal point, depending on
>>>>>>>>>> the control. If we want to make this more explicit to users, we should
>>>>>>>>>> work on adding unit support to the V4L2 controls.
>>>>>>>>> "Fixed Point" is not a unit, it's a type. 'Db', 'Hz' etc. are units.
>>>>>>>> It's not a unit, but I think it's related to units. My point is that,
>>>>>>>> without units support, I don't see why we need a formal definition of
>>>>>>>> fixed-point types, and why this series couldn't just use
>>>>>>>> VIVID_CID_INTEGER64. Drivers already interpret VIVID_CID_INTEGER64
>>>>>>>> values as they see fit.
>>>>>>> They do? That's new to me. A quick grep for V4L2_CTRL_TYPE_INTEGER64
>>>>>>> (I assume you meant that rather than VIVID_CID_INTEGER64) shows that it
>>>>> Yes, I meant V4L2_CTRL_TYPE_INTEGER64. Too hasty copy & paste :-)
>>>>>>> is always interpreted as a 64 bit integer and nothing else. As it should.
>>>>> The most common case for control handling in drivers is taking the
>>>>> integer value and converting it to a register value, using
>>>>> device-specific encoding of the register value. It can be a fixed-point
>>>>> format or something else, depending on the device. My point is that
>>>>> drivers routinely convert a "plain" integer to something else, and that
>>>>> has never been considered as a cause of concern. I don't see why it
>>>>> would be different in this series.
>>>>>>> And while we do not have support for units (other than the documentation),
>>>>>>> we do have type support in the form of V4L2_CTRL_TYPE_*.
>>>>>>>>> A quick "git grep -i "fixed point" Documentation/userspace-api/media/'
>>>>>>>>> only shows a single driver specific control (dw100.rst).
>>>>>>>>> I'm not aware of other controls in mainline that use fixed point.
>>>>>>>> The analog gain control for sensors for instance.
>>>>>>> Not really. The documentation is super vague:
>>>>>>> V4L2_CID_ANALOGUE_GAIN (integer)
>>>>>>>   Analogue gain is gain affecting all colour components in the pixel matrix. The
>>>>>>>   gain operation is performed in the analogue domain before A/D conversion.
>>>>>>> And the integer is just a range. Internally it might map to some fixed
>>>>>>> point value, but userspace won't see that, it's hidden in the driver AFAICT.
>>>>> It's hidden so well that libcamera has a database of the sensor it
>>>>> supports, with formulas to map a real gain value to the
>>>>> V4L2_CID_ANALOGUE_GAIN control. The encoding of the integer value does
>>>>> matter, and the kernel doesn't expose it. We may or may not consider
>>>>> that as a shortcoming of the V4L2 control API, but in any case it's the
>>>>> situation we have today.
>>>>>> I wonder if Laurent meant digital gain.
>>>>> No, I meant analog. It applies to digital gain too though.
>>>>>> Those are often Q numbers. The practice there has been that the default
>>>>>> value yields gain of 1.
>>>>>> There are probably many other examples in controls where something being
>>>>>> controlled isn't actually an integer while integer controls are still being
>>>>>> used for the purpose.
>>>>> A good summary of my opinion :-)
>>>> And that works fine as long as userspace doesn't need to know what the value
>>>> actually means.
>>>> That's not the case here. The control is really a fractional Hz value:
>>>> +``V4L2_CID_M2M_AUDIO_SOURCE_RATE_OFFSET (fixed point)``
>>>> +    Sets the offset from the audio source sample rate, unit is Hz.
>>>> +    The offset compensates for any clock drift. The actual source audio sample
>>>> +    rate is the ideal source audio sample rate from
>>>> +    ``V4L2_CID_M2M_AUDIO_SOURCE_RATE`` plus this fixed point offset.
>>> I don't see why this would require a new type, you can use
>>> V4L2_CTRL_TYPE_INTEGER64, and document the control as containing
>>> fixed-point values in Q31.32 format.
>> Why would you want to do this? I can store a double in a long long int,
>> and just document that the variable is really a double, but why would you?
>> The cost of adding a FIXED_POINT type is minimal, and having this type
>> makes it easy to work with fixed point controls (think about proper reporting
>> and setting of the value in v4l2-ctl and user applications in general that
>> deal with controls).
> I can see one potential drawback of adding a new type - userspace
> would have to be made aware of it, although arguably with brand new
> controls, userspace would have to be aware of them anyway. Not sure if
> we have some kind of userspace that can handle any controls purely
> based on their type - if yes, they would not be able to handle the new
> controls.

The generic userspace apps are all in v4l-utils (v4l2-ctl/compliance, qv4l2),
so that is not a problem. We add new types all the time, this is nothing



>> If this would add a thousand lines of complex code, then this would be a
>> consideration, but this is just a few lines.
>> Just to give an example, if you use 'v4l2-ctl -l' to list a int64 control
>> and it reports the value 13958643712, would you be able to see that that is
>> really 3.25 in fixed point format? With the right type it would be printed
>> like that. Much easier to work work.
>> Regards,
>>         Hans
>>>>>> Instead of this patch, I'd prefer to have a way to express the meaning of
>>>>>> the control value, be it a Q number or something else, and do that
>>>>>> independently of the type of the control.
>>>> Huh? How is that different from the type of the control? You have integers
>>>> (one type) and fixed point (another type).
>>>> Or do you want a more general V4L2_CTRL_TYPE_ that specifies the N.M values
>>>> explicitly?
>>>> I think the main reason why we use integer controls for gain is that we
>>>> never had a fixed point control type and you could get away with that in
>>>> user space for that particular use-case.
>>>> Based on the V4L2_CID_NOTIFY_GAINS documentation the gain value can typically
>>>> be calculated as (value / default_value),
>>> Typically, but not always. Some sensor have an exponential gain model,
>>> and some have weird gain representation, such as 1/x. That's getting out
>>> of scope though.
>>>> but that won't work for a rate offset
>>>> control as above, or for e.g. CSC matrices for color converters.
>>>>> Agreed.
>>>>>>> In the case of this particular series the control type is really a fixed point
>>>>>>> value with a documented unit (Hz). It really is not something you want to
>>>>>>> use type INTEGER64 for.
>>>>>>>>> Note that V4L2_CTRL_TYPE_FIXED_POINT is a Q31.32 format. By setting
>>>>>>>>> min/max/step you can easily map that to just about any QN.M format where
>>>>>>>>> N <= 31 and M <= 32.
>>>>>>>>> In the case of dw100 it is a bit different in that it is quite specialized
>>>>>>>>> and it had to fit in 16 bits.

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