[alsa-devel] [Intel-gfx] [RFC] set up an sync channel between audio and display driver (i.e. ALSA and DRM)

Daniel Vetter daniel.vetter at intel.com
Tue May 20 17:07:51 CEST 2014

On 20/05/2014 16:57, Thierry Reding wrote:
> On Tue, May 20, 2014 at 04:45:56PM +0200, Daniel Vetter wrote:
>> >On Tue, May 20, 2014 at 4:29 PM, Imre Deak<imre.deak at intel.com>  wrote:
>>> > >On Tue, 2014-05-20 at 05:52 +0300, Lin, Mengdong wrote:
>>>> > >>This RFC is based on previous discussion to set up a generic
>>>> > >>communication channel between display and audio driver and
>>>> > >>an internal design of Intel MCG/VPG HDMI audio driver. It's still an
>>>> > >>initial draft and your advice would be appreciated
>>>> > >>to improve the design.
>>>> > >>
>>>> > >>The basic idea is to create a new avsink module and let both drm and
>>>> > >>alsa depend on it.
>>>> > >>This new module provides a framework and APIs for synchronization
>>>> > >>between the display and audio driver.
>>>> > >>
>>>> > >>1. Display/Audio Client
>>>> > >>
>>>> > >>The avsink core provides APIs to create, register and lookup a
>>>> > >>display/audio client.
>>>> > >>A specific display driver (eg. i915) or audio driver (eg. HD-Audio
>>>> > >>driver) can create a client, add some resources
>>>> > >>objects (shared power wells, display outputs, and audio inputs,
>>>> > >>register ops) to the client, and then register this
>>>> > >>client to avisink core. The peer driver can look up a registered
>>>> > >>client by a name or type, or both. If a client gives
>>>> > >>a valid peer client name on registration, avsink core will bind the
>>>> > >>two clients as peer for each other. And we
>>>> > >>expect a display client and an audio client to be peers for each other
>>>> > >>in a system.
>>> > >
>>> > >One problem we have at the moment is the order of calling the system
>>> > >suspend/resume handlers of the display driver wrt. that of the audio
>>> > >driver. Since the power well control is part of the display HW block, we
>>> > >need to run the display driver's resume handler first, initialize the
>>> > >HW, and only then let the audio driver's resume handler run. For similar
>>> > >reasons we have to call the audio suspend handler first and only then
>>> > >the display driver resume handler. Currently we solve this using the
>>> > >display driver's late/early suspend/resume hooks, but we'd need a more
>>> > >robust solution.
>>> > >
>>> > >This seems to be a similar issue to the load time ordering problem that
>>> > >you describe later. Having a real device for avsync that would be a
>>> > >child of the display device would solve the ordering issue in both
>>> > >cases. I admit I haven't looked into it if this is feasible, but I would
>>> > >like to see some solution to this as part of the plan.
>> >
>> >Yeah, this is a big reason why I want real devices - we have piles of
>> >infrastructure to solve these ordering issues as soon as there's a
>> >struct device around. If we don't use that, we need to reinvent all
>> >those wheels ourselves.
> To make the driver core's magic work I think you'd need to find a way to
> reparent the audio device under the display device. Presumably they come
> from two different parts of the device tree (two different PCI devices I
> would guess for Intel, two different platform devices on SoCs). Changing
> the parent after a device has been registered doesn't work as far as I
> know. But even assuming that would work, I have trouble imagining what
> the implications would be on the rest of the driver model.
> I faced similar problems with the Tegra DRM driver, and the only way I
> can see to make this kind of interaction between devices work is by
> tacking on an extra layer outside the core driver model.
That's why we need a new avsink device which is a proper child of the 
gfx device, and the audio driver needs to use the componentized device 
framework so that the suspend/resume ordering works correctly. Or at 
least that's been my idea, might be we have some small gaps here and there.
Intel Semiconductor AG
Registered No. 020.30.913.786-7
Registered Office: Badenerstrasse 549, 8048 Zurich, Switzerland

More information about the Alsa-devel mailing list