52. Power Management
The DPDK Power Management feature allows users space applications to save power by dynamically adjusting CPU frequency or entering into different C-States.
- Adjusting the CPU frequency dynamically according to the utilization of RX queue.
- Entering into different deeper C-States according to the adaptive algorithms to speculate brief periods of time suspending the application if no packets are received.
The interfaces for adjusting the operating CPU frequency are in the power management library. C-State control is implemented in applications according to the different use cases.
52.1. CPU Frequency Scaling
The Linux kernel provides a cpufreq module for CPU frequency scaling for each lcore. For example, for cpuX, /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpuX/cpufreq/ has the following sys files for frequency scaling:
In the DPDK, scaling_governor is configured in user space. Then, a user space application can prompt the kernel by writing scaling_setspeed to adjust the CPU frequency according to the strategies defined by the user space application.
52.2. Core-load Throttling through C-States
Core state can be altered by speculative sleeps whenever the specified lcore has nothing to do. In the DPDK, if no packet is received after polling, speculative sleeps can be triggered according the strategies defined by the user space application.
52.3. Per-core Turbo Boost
Individual cores can be allowed to enter a Turbo Boost state on a per-core basis. This is achieved by enabling Turbo Boost Technology in the BIOS, then looping through the relevant cores and enabling/disabling Turbo Boost on each core.
52.4. Use of Power Library in a Hyper-Threaded Environment
In the case where the power library is in use on a system with Hyper-Threading enabled, the frequency on the physical core is set to the highest frequency of the Hyper-Thread siblings. So even though an application may request a scale down, the core frequency will remain at the highest frequency until all Hyper-Threads on that core request a scale down.
52.5. API Overview of the Power Library
The main methods exported by power library are for CPU frequency scaling and include the following:
- Freq up: Prompt the kernel to scale up the frequency of the specific lcore.
- Freq down: Prompt the kernel to scale down the frequency of the specific lcore.
- Freq max: Prompt the kernel to scale up the frequency of the specific lcore to the maximum.
- Freq min: Prompt the kernel to scale down the frequency of the specific lcore to the minimum.
- Get available freqs: Read the available frequencies of the specific lcore from the sys file.
- Freq get: Get the current frequency of the specific lcore.
- Freq set: Prompt the kernel to set the frequency for the specific lcore.
- Enable turbo: Prompt the kernel to enable Turbo Boost for the specific lcore.
- Disable turbo: Prompt the kernel to disable Turbo Boost for the specific lcore.
52.6. User Cases
The power management mechanism is used to save power when performing L3 forwarding.
52.7. Empty Poll API
52.7.1. Removal Warning
The experimental empty poll API will be removed from the library in a future DPDK release. The empty poll mechanism is superseded by the power PMD modes i.e. monitor, pause and scale.
For packet processing workloads such as DPDK polling is continuous. This means CPU cores always show 100% busy independent of how much work those cores are doing. It is critical to accurately determine how busy a core is hugely important for the following reasons:
- No indication of overload conditions
- User does not know how much real load is on a system, resulting in wasted energy as no power management is utilized
Compared to the original l3fwd-power design, instead of going to sleep after detecting an empty poll, the new mechanism just lowers the core frequency. As a result, the application does not stop polling the device, which leads to improved handling of bursts of traffic.
When the system become busy, the empty poll mechanism can also increase the core frequency (including turbo) to do best effort for intensive traffic. This gives us more flexible and balanced traffic awareness over the standard l3fwd-power application.
52.7.3. Proposed Solution
The proposed solution focuses on how many times empty polls are executed. The less the number of empty polls, means current core is busy with processing workload, therefore, the higher frequency is needed. The high empty poll number indicates the current core not doing any real work therefore, we can lower the frequency to safe power.
In the current implementation, each core has 1 empty-poll counter which assume 1 core is dedicated to 1 queue. This will need to be expanded in the future to support multiple queues per core.
188.8.131.52. Power state definition:
- LOW: Not currently used, reserved for future use.
- MED: the frequency is used to process modest traffic workload.
- HIGH: the frequency is used to process busy traffic workload.
184.108.40.206. There are two phases to establish the power management system:
- Training phase. This phase is used to measure the optimal frequency change thresholds for a given system. The thresholds will differ from system to system due to differences in processor micro-architecture, cache and device configurations. In this phase, the user must ensure that no traffic can enter the system so that counts can be measured for empty polls at low, medium and high frequencies. Each frequency is measured for two seconds. Once the training phase is complete, the threshold numbers are displayed, and normal mode resumes, and traffic can be allowed into the system. These threshold number can be used on the command line when starting the application in normal mode to avoid re-training every time.
- Normal phase. Every 10ms the run-time counters are compared to the supplied threshold values, and the decision will be made whether to move to a different power state (by adjusting the frequency).
52.7.4. API Overview for Empty Poll Power Management
- State Init: initialize the power management system.
- State Free: free the resource hold by power management system.
- Update Empty Poll Counter: update the empty poll counter.
- Update Valid Poll Counter: update the valid poll counter.
- Set the Frequency Index: update the power state/frequency mapping.
- Detect empty poll state change: empty poll state change detection algorithm then take action.
52.8. User Cases
The mechanism can applied to any device which is based on polling. e.g. NIC, FPGA.
52.9. Ethernet PMD Power Management API
Existing power management mechanisms require developers to change application design or change code to make use of it. The PMD power management API provides a convenient alternative by utilizing Ethernet PMD RX callbacks, and triggering power saving whenever empty poll count reaches a certain number.
- This power saving scheme will put the CPU into optimized power state and monitor the Ethernet PMD RX descriptor address, waking the CPU up whenever there’s new traffic. Support for this scheme may not be available on all platforms, and further limitations may apply (see below).
- This power saving scheme will avoid busy polling by either entering
power-optimized sleep state with
rte_power_pause()function, or, if it’s not supported by the underlying platform, use
- Frequency scaling
- This power saving scheme will use
librte_powerlibrary functionality to scale the core frequency up/down depending on traffic volume. The reaction time of the frequency scaling mode is longer than the pause and monitor mode.
The “monitor” mode is only supported in the following configurations and scenarios:
- On Linux* x86_64, rte_power_monitor() requires WAITPKG instruction set being supported by the CPU, while rte_power_monitor_multi() requires WAITPKG and RTM instruction sets being supported by the CPU. RTM instruction set may also require booting the Linux with tsx=on command line parameter. Please refer to your platform documentation for further information.
rte_cpu_get_intrinsics_support()function indicates that
rte_power_monitor_multi()function is supported by the platform, then monitoring multiple Ethernet Rx queues for traffic will be supported.
rte_cpu_get_intrinsics_support()function indicates that only
rte_power_monitor()is supported by the platform, then monitoring will be limited to a mapping of 1 core 1 queue (thus, each Rx queue will have to be monitored from a different lcore).
rte_cpu_get_intrinsics_support()function indicates that neither of the two monitoring functions are supported, then monitor mode will not be supported.
- Not all Ethernet drivers support monitoring, even if the underlying platform may support the necessary CPU instructions. Please refer to Overview of Networking Drivers for more information.
52.9.2. API Overview for Ethernet PMD Power Management
- Queue Enable: Enable specific power scheme for certain queue/port/core.
- Queue Disable: Disable power scheme for certain queue/port/core.
- Get Emptypoll Max: Get the configured number of empty polls to wait before entering sleep state.
- Set Emptypoll Max: Set the number of empty polls to wait before entering sleep state.
- Get Pause Duration: Get the configured duration (microseconds) to be used in the Pause callback.
- Set Pause Duration: Set the duration of the pause (microseconds) used in the Pause mode callback.
- Get Scaling Min Freq: Get the configured minimum frequency (kHz) to be used in Frequency Scaling mode.
- Set Scaling Min Freq: Set the minimum frequency (kHz) to be used in Frequency Scaling mode.
- Get Scaling Max Freq: Get the configured maximum frequency (kHz) to be used in Frequency Scaling mode.
- Set Scaling Max Freq: Set the maximum frequency (kHz) to be used in Frequency Scaling mode.
52.10. Intel Uncore API
Uncore is a term used by Intel to describe the functions of a microprocessor that are not in the core, but which must be closely connected to the core to achieve high performance: L3 cache, on-die memory controller, etc. Significant power savings can be achieved by reducing the uncore frequency to its lowest value.
The Linux kernel provides the driver “intel-uncore-frequency” to control the uncore frequency limits for x86 platform. The driver is available from kernel version 5.6 and above. Also CONFIG_INTEL_UNCORE_FREQ_CONTROL will need to be enabled in the kernel, which was added in 5.6. This manipulates the context of MSR 0x620, which sets min/max of the uncore for the SKU.
52.10.2. API Overview for Intel Uncore
Overview of each function in the Intel Uncore API, with explanation of what they do. Each function should not be called in the fast path.
- Uncore Power Init
- Initialize uncore power, populate frequency array and record original min & max for die on pkg.
- Uncore Power Exit
- Exit uncore power, restoring original min & max for die on pkg.
- Get Uncore Power Freq
- Get current uncore freq index for die on pkg.
- Set Uncore Power Freq
- Set min & max uncore freq index for die on pkg to specified index value (min and max will be the same).
- Uncore Power Max
- Set min & max uncore freq to maximum frequency index for die on pkg (min and max will be the same).
- Uncore Power Min
- Set min & max uncore freq to minimum frequency index for die on pkg (min and max will be the same).
- Get Num Freqs
- Get the number of frequencies in the index array.
- Get Num Pkgs
- Get the number of packages (CPU’s) on the system.
- Get Num Dies
- Get the number of die’s on a given package.
- The L3 Forwarding with Power Management Sample Application chapter in the Sample Applications User Guides section.
- The Virtual Machine Power Management Application chapter in the Sample Applications User Guides section.
- The Overview of Networking Drivers chapter in the Network Interface Controller Drivers section