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SubjectRe: [PATCH] media: docs-rst: Document m2m stateless video decoder interface
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Date
Hi,

Thanks for this new version! I only have one comment left, see below.

On Wed, 2018-12-05 at 19:01 +0900, Alexandre Courbot wrote:
> Documents the protocol that user-space should follow when
> communicating with stateless video decoders.
>
> The stateless video decoding API makes use of the new request and tags
> APIs. While it has been implemented with the Cedrus driver so far, it
> should probably still be considered staging for a short while.
>
> Signed-off-by: Alexandre Courbot <acourbot@chromium.org>
> ---
> Removing the RFC flag this time. Changes since RFCv3:
>
> * Included Tomasz and Hans feedback,
> * Expanded the decoding section to better describe the use of requests,
> * Use the tags API.
>
> Documentation/media/uapi/v4l/dev-codec.rst | 5 +
> .../media/uapi/v4l/dev-stateless-decoder.rst | 399 ++++++++++++++++++
> 2 files changed, 404 insertions(+)
> create mode 100644 Documentation/media/uapi/v4l/dev-stateless-decoder.rst
>
> diff --git a/Documentation/media/uapi/v4l/dev-codec.rst b/Documentation/media/uapi/v4l/dev-codec.rst
> index c61e938bd8dc..3e6a3e883f11 100644
> --- a/Documentation/media/uapi/v4l/dev-codec.rst
> +++ b/Documentation/media/uapi/v4l/dev-codec.rst
> @@ -6,6 +6,11 @@
> Codec Interface
> ***************
>
> +.. toctree::
> + :maxdepth: 1
> +
> + dev-stateless-decoder
> +
> A V4L2 codec can compress, decompress, transform, or otherwise convert
> video data from one format into another format, in memory. Typically
> such devices are memory-to-memory devices (i.e. devices with the
> diff --git a/Documentation/media/uapi/v4l/dev-stateless-decoder.rst b/Documentation/media/uapi/v4l/dev-stateless-decoder.rst
> new file mode 100644
> index 000000000000..7a781c89bd59
> --- /dev/null
> +++ b/Documentation/media/uapi/v4l/dev-stateless-decoder.rst
> @@ -0,0 +1,399 @@
> +.. -*- coding: utf-8; mode: rst -*-
> +
> +.. _stateless_decoder:
> +
> +**************************************************
> +Memory-to-memory Stateless Video Decoder Interface
> +**************************************************
> +
> +A stateless decoder is a decoder that works without retaining any kind of state
> +between processing frames. This means that each frame is decoded independently
> +of any previous and future frames, and that the client is responsible for
> +maintaining the decoding state and providing it to the decoder with each
> +decoding request. This is in contrast to the stateful video decoder interface,
> +where the hardware and driver maintain the decoding state and all the client
> +has to do is to provide the raw encoded stream.
> +
> +This section describes how user-space ("the client") is expected to communicate
> +with such decoders in order to successfully decode an encoded stream. Compared
> +to stateful codecs, the decoder/client sequence is simpler, but the cost of
> +this simplicity is extra complexity in the client which must maintain a
> +consistent decoding state.
> +
> +Stateless decoders make use of the request API and buffer tags. A stateless
> +decoder must thus expose the following capabilities on its queues when
> +:c:func:`VIDIOC_REQBUFS` or :c:func:`VIDIOC_CREATE_BUFS` are invoked:
> +
> +* The ``V4L2_BUF_CAP_SUPPORTS_REQUESTS`` capability must be set on the
> + ``OUTPUT`` queue,
> +
> +* The ``V4L2_BUF_CAP_SUPPORTS_TAGS`` capability must be set on the ``OUTPUT``
> + and ``CAPTURE`` queues,
> +

[...]

> +Decoding
> +========
> +
> +For each frame, the client is responsible for submitting a request to which the
> +following is attached:
> +
> +* Exactly one frame worth of encoded data in a buffer submitted to the
> + ``OUTPUT`` queue,

Although this is still the case in the cedrus driver (but will be fixed
eventually), this requirement should be dropped because metadata is
per-slice and not per-picture in the formats we're currently aiming to
support.

I think it would be safer to mention something like filling the output
buffer with the minimum unit size for the selected output format, to
which the associated metadata applies.

> +* All the controls relevant to the format being decoded (see below for details).
> +
> +The contents of the source ``OUTPUT`` buffer, as well as the controls that must
> +be set on the request, depend on the active coded pixel format and might be
> +affected by codec-specific extended controls, as stated in documentation of each
> +format.
> +
> +A typical frame would thus be decoded using the following sequence:
> +
> +1. Queue an ``OUTPUT`` buffer containing one frame worth of encoded bitstream

Ditto here.

> + data for the decoding request, using :c:func:`VIDIOC_QBUF`.
> +
> + * **Required fields:**
> +
> + ``index``
> + index of the buffer being queued.
> +
> + ``type``
> + type of the buffer.
> +
> + ``bytesused``
> + number of bytes taken by the encoded data frame in the buffer.
> +
> + ``flags``
> + the ``V4L2_BUF_FLAG_REQUEST_FD`` flag must be set. In addition, if
> + the decoded frame is to be used as a reference frame in the future,
> + then the ``V4L2_BUF_FLAG_TAG`` flag must be set (it can also be set
> + for non-reference frames if it helps the client).
> +
> + ``request_fd``
> + must be set to the file descriptor of the decoding request.
> +
> + ``tag``
> + if the ``V4L2_BUF_FLAG_TAG`` is set, then this must contain the tag
> + for the frame that will be copied into the decoded frame buffer, and
> + can be used to specify this frame as a reference frame for another
> + one.
> +
> + .. note::
> +
> + The API currently requires one frame of encoded data per ``OUTPUT`` buffer,
> + even though some encoded formats may present their data in smaller chunks
> + (e.g. H.264's frames can be made of several slices that can be processed
> + independently). It is currently the responsibility of the client to gather
> + the different parts of a frame into a single ``OUTPUT`` buffer, while
> + preserving the same layout as the original bitstream. This
> + restriction may be lifted in the future.

And this part should probably be dropped too.

Cheers,

Paul

> +2. Set the codec-specific controls for the decoding request, using
> + :c:func:`VIDIOC_S_EXT_CTRLS`.
> +
> + * **Required fields:**
> +
> + ``which``
> + must be ``V4L2_CTRL_WHICH_REQUEST_VAL``.
> +
> + ``request_fd``
> + must be set to the file descriptor of the decoding request.
> +
> + other fields
> + other fields are set as usual when setting controls. The ``controls``
> + array must contain all the codec-specific controls required to decode
> + a frame.
> +
> + .. note::
> +
> + It is possible to specify the controls in different invocations of
> + :c:func:`VIDIOC_S_EXT_CTRLS`, or to overwrite a previously set control, as
> + long as ``request_fd`` and ``which`` are properly set. The controls state
> + at the moment of request submission is the one that will be considered.
> +
> + .. note::
> +
> + The order in which steps 1 and 2 take place is interchangeable.
> +
> +3. Submit the request by invoking :c:func:`MEDIA_IOC_REQUEST_QUEUE` on the
> + request FD.
> +
> + If the request is submitted without an ``OUTPUT`` buffer, or if some of the
> + required controls are missing from the request, then
> + :c:func:`MEDIA_REQUEST_IOC_QUEUE` will return ``-ENOENT``. If more than one
> + ``OUTPUT`` buffer is queued, then it will return ``-EINVAL``.
> + :c:func:`MEDIA_REQUEST_IOC_QUEUE` returning non-zero means that no
> + ``CAPTURE`` buffer will be produced for this request.
> +
> +``CAPTURE`` buffers must not be part of the request, and are queued
> +independently. They are returned in decode order (i.e. the same order as
> +``OUTPUT`` buffers were submitted).
> +
> +Runtime decoding errors are signaled by the dequeued ``CAPTURE`` buffers
> +carrying the ``V4L2_BUF_FLAG_ERROR`` flag. If a decoded reference frame has an
> +error, then all following decoded frames that refer to it also have the
> +``V4L2_BUF_FLAG_ERROR`` flag set, although the decoder will still try to
> +produce a (likely corrupted) frame.
> +
> +Buffer management while decoding
> +================================
> +Contrary to stateful decoders, a stateless decoder does not perform any kind of
> +buffer management: it only guarantees that dequeued ``CAPTURE`` buffer can be
> +used by the client for as long as they are not queued again. "Used" here
> +encompasses using the buffer for compositing, display, or as a reference frame
> +to decode a subsequent frame.
> +
> +Reference frames are specified by using the same tag that was set to the
> +``OUTPUT`` buffer of a frame into the relevant codec-specific structures that
> +are submitted as controls. This tag will be copied to the corresponding
> +``CAPTURE`` buffer, but can be used in any subsequent decoding request as soon
> +as the decoding request for that buffer is queued successfully. This means that
> +the client does not need to wait until a ``CAPTURE`` buffer with a given tag is
> +dequeued to start using that tag in reference frames. However, it must wait
> +until all frames referencing a given tag are dequeued before queuing the
> +referenced ``CAPTURE`` buffer again, since queueing a buffer effectively removes
> +its tag.
> +
> +When queuing a decoding request, the driver will increase the reference count of
> +all the resources associated with reference frames. This means that the client
> +can e.g. close the DMABUF file descriptors of the reference frame buffers if it
> +won't need it afterwards, as long as the V4L2 ``CAPTURE`` buffer of the
> +reference frame is not re-queued before all referencing frames are decoded.
> +
> +Seeking
> +=======
> +In order to seek, the client just needs to submit requests using input buffers
> +corresponding to the new stream position. It must however be aware that
> +resolution may have changed and follow the dynamic resolution change sequence in
> +that case. Also depending on the codec used, picture parameters (e.g. SPS/PPS
> +for H.264) may have changed and the client is responsible for making sure that a
> +valid state is sent to the decoder.
> +
> +The client is then free to ignore any returned ``CAPTURE`` buffer that comes
> +from the pre-seek position.
> +
> +Pause
> +=====
> +
> +In order to pause, the client can just cease queuing buffers onto the ``OUTPUT``
> +queue. Without source bitstream data, there is no data to process and the codec
> +will remain idle.
> +
> +Dynamic resolution change
> +=========================
> +
> +If the client detects a resolution change in the stream, it will need to perform
> +the initialization sequence again with the new resolution:
> +
> +1. Wait until all submitted requests have completed and dequeue the
> + corresponding output buffers.
> +
> +2. Call :c:func:`VIDIOC_STREAMOFF` on both the ``OUTPUT`` and ``CAPTURE``
> + queues.
> +
> +3. Free all ``CAPTURE`` buffers by calling :c:func:`VIDIOC_REQBUFS` on the
> + ``CAPTURE`` queue with a buffer count of zero.
> +
> +4. Perform the initialization sequence again (minus the allocation of
> + ``OUTPUT`` buffers), with the new resolution set on the ``OUTPUT`` queue.
> + Note that due to resolution constraints, a different format may need to be
> + picked on the ``CAPTURE`` queue.
> +
> +Drain
> +=====
> +
> +In order to drain the stream on a stateless decoder, the client just needs to
> +wait until all the submitted requests are completed. There is no need to send a
> +``V4L2_DEC_CMD_STOP`` command since requests are processed sequentially by the
> +decoder.
> +
> +End of stream
> +=============
> +
> +When the client detects that the end of stream is reached, it can simply stop
> +sending new frames to the decoder, drain the ``CAPTURE`` queue, and dispose of
> +the decoder as needed.
--
Paul Kocialkowski, Bootlin (formerly Free Electrons)
Embedded Linux and kernel engineering
https://bootlin.com

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