Wakeup Latency, CPU Frequency (Gotcha)

Measuring Wakeup Latency

#!/usr/bin/env python3

import time
import sys
import statistics

INTERVAL = float(sys.argv[1])
LOOPS = int(sys.argv[2])

data = []

for _ in range(LOOPS):
    before = time.time()
    after = time.time()

    jitter = after - before - INTERVAL

mean = statistics.mean(data)
stdev = statistics.stdev(data)

print(f'mean: {mean:.6f}s ({mean*1000:.6f}ms, {mean*1000*1000}us)')
print(f'stdev: {stdev:.6f}s ({stdev*1000:.6f}ms, {stdev*1000*1000}us)')

On a Raspberry Pi 4B, this gives …

$ ./jitter.py 0.01 100
mean: 0.000105s (0.105247ms, 105.24749755859354us)
stdev: 0.000015s (0.014643ms, 14.64260525619006us)
  • Wakeup time: from timer interrupt (handled inside the kernel) to userspace code

  • Results show: a sleep of 10ms wakes up 105us late on average

Many Runnable Processes (Gotcha: CPU Frequency Scaling)

Add tons of runnable processes

$ for i in $(seq 30); do sha1sum  /dev/zero& done

See how wakeup behaves. Expecting that wakeup time increases (alas, more processes want their share)

$ ./jitter.py 0.01 100
mean: 0.000067s (0.067263ms, 67.2626495361326us)
stdev: 0.000003s (0.002883ms, 2.8827592917392217us)

WHAT? Wakeup time decreases as more processes are runnable?

  • Gotcha: CPU frequency scaling (ondemand governor)

  • CPU bound processes make CPUs run faster


When wakeup latency is an issue, power saving is not a good idea!

CPU Frequency Scaling Out Of The Way

Exchange ondemand governor with performance governor

# for i in $(seq 0 3); do
>   echo performance > /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu$i/cpufreq/scaling_governor
> done

CPUs run at maximum speed

# cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu*/cpufreq/cpuinfo_cur_freq

Kill CPU eaters

$ killall sha1sum

So how latency goes

$ ./jitter.py 0.01 100
mean: 0.000067s (0.067036ms, 67.03615188598611us)
stdev: 0.000001s (0.001257ms, 1.2571678380193383us)

Voila! Same as before, but without CPU (h)eaters

$ for i in $(seq 30); do sha1sum  /dev/zero& done
$ ./jitter.py 0.01 100
mean: 0.000065s (0.065188ms, 65.188407897949us)
stdev: 0.000002s (0.002376ms, 2.3758434034066656us)

And the same as with the (h)eaters

Mysteries Remaining

  • Not everything is easily explainable though

  • Apparently longer sleep times increase wakeup latency

  • Naive explanation: to wake somebody from a deep sleep takes longer (not so naive though)

$ ./jitter.py 1 100
mean: 0.001042s (1.042438ms, 1042.4375534057617us)
stdev: 0.000017s (0.017123ms, 17.123423079175748us)
$ ./jitter.py 0.1 100
mean: 0.000143s (0.142646ms, 142.6458358764593us)
stdev: 0.000005s (0.004995ms, 4.994855006705264us)