[alsa-devel] BUG: USB audio discontinuities with 'UHCI: implement new semantics for URB_ISO_ASAP'
stern at rowland.harvard.edu
Fri Apr 19 20:18:24 CEST 2013
On Fri, 19 Apr 2013, Clemens Ladisch wrote:
> Alan Stern wrote:
> > ...
> > This trace shows that the frame numbers do not increase sequentially:
> > 1057125, 1057126, 1057128, 1057129, 1053131, ... This is because the
> > new driver is a little more conservative than the old driver,
> > requiring latencies to be larger than 1 ms. You can see this
> > explicitly in one of the new lines added by the commit you found:
> > + next = uhci->frame_number + 2;
> > That 2 is the minimum latency, in frames (one frame per ms).
> One frame worked fine with the old driver. What is the reason for
> this regression?
The semantics of URB_ISO_ASAP changed; now the driver interprets as
meaning "the earliest time that is certain to work". Since I wasn't
sure that a 1-ms latency would always work, I increased the minimum to
Perhaps that was a mistake. Joe, you can try changing the 2 above to a
1 to see if it fixes the problem.
> > Anyway, the solution is simple: The audio driver needs either to submit
> > buffers that are at least 2 ms long, or to use more than two buffers
> > (or both).
> The audio driver already has the infrastructure to cope for hardware
> restrictions like this, it just needs to *know* about them. How can
> it detect that it runs on the OHCI/UHCI drivers?
That is a very good question. In fact, the audio driver shouldn't care
about what kind of driver is used at the lower level; all it should
care about are bounds on the latency.
The kernel's USB API doesn't provide this information, unfortunately.
There should be a way for drivers to find out, for any USB device:
A. The maximum delay time needed for starting a new isochronous
B. The minimum advance time required for submitting a new URB
to an existing isochronous stream (i.e., the minimum pipeline
C. The maximum time into the future that isochronous URBs can be
scheduled (the maximum pipeline size).
I don't think there's any way to add this information into all of the
existing host controller drivers, though.
For now, the best approach is to be conservative. I believe all the
existing USB host controller drivers will work okay if you assume the
A: 50 ms;
B: 2 ms;
C: 200 ms.
The audio driver probably doesn't care about A; you try to start a new
stream and it gets going whenever the HCD chooses. You may or may not
care about C. B is the important one for this discussion.
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