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SubjectRe: [RFC PATCH] media: docs-rst: Document m2m stateless video decoder interface
On 09/11/18 10:40, Alexandre Courbot wrote:
> On Mon, Sep 10, 2018 at 9:49 PM Hans Verkuil <> wrote:
>> On 09/10/2018 01:57 PM, Hans Verkuil wrote:
>>> On 09/10/2018 01:25 PM, Hans Verkuil wrote:
>>>>> +
>>>>> +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,
>>>>> +* All the controls relevant to the format being decoded (see below for details).
>>>>> +
>>>>> +``CAPTURE`` buffers must not be part of the request, but must be queued
>>>>> +independently. The driver will pick one of the queued ``CAPTURE`` buffers and
>>>>> +decode the frame into it. Although the client has no control over which
>>>>> +``CAPTURE`` buffer will be used with a given ``OUTPUT`` buffer, it is guaranteed
>>>>> +that ``CAPTURE`` buffers will be returned in decode order (i.e. the same order
>>>>> +as ``OUTPUT`` buffers were submitted), so it is trivial to associate a dequeued
>>>>> +``CAPTURE`` buffer to its originating request and ``OUTPUT`` buffer.
>>>>> +
>>>>> +If the request is submitted without an ``OUTPUT`` buffer or if one of the
>>>>> +required controls are missing, then :c:func:`MEDIA_REQUEST_IOC_QUEUE` will return
>>>>> +``-EINVAL``.
>>>> Not entirely true: if buffers are missing, then ENOENT is returned. Missing required
>>>> controls or more than one OUTPUT buffer will result in EINVAL. This per the latest
>>>> Request API changes.
>>>> Decoding errors are signaled by the ``CAPTURE`` buffers being
>>>>> +dequeued carrying the ``V4L2_BUF_FLAG_ERROR`` flag.
>>>> Add here that if the reference frame had an error, then all other frames that refer
>>>> to it should also set the ERROR flag. It is up to userspace to decide whether or
>>>> not to drop them (part of the frame might still be valid).
>>>> I am not sure whether this should be documented, but there are some additional
>>>> restrictions w.r.t. reference frames:
>>>> Since decoders need access to the decoded reference frames there are some corner
>>>> cases that need to be checked:
>>>> 1) V4L2_MEMORY_USERPTR cannot be used for the capture queue: the driver does not
>>>> know when a malloced but dequeued buffer is freed, so the reference frame
>>>> could suddenly be gone.
>>>> 2) V4L2_MEMORY_DMABUF can be used, but drivers should check that the dma buffer is
>>>> still available AND increase the dmabuf refcount while it is used by the HW.
>>>> 3) What to do if userspace has requeued a buffer containing a reference frame,
>>>> and you want to decode a B/P-frame that refers to that buffer? We need to
>>>> check against that: I think that when you queue a capture buffer whose index
>>>> is used in a pending request as a reference frame, than that should fail with
>>>> an error. And trying to queue a request referring to a buffer that has been
>>>> requeued should also fail.
>>>> We might need to add some support for this in v4l2-mem2mem.c or vb2.
>>>> We will have similar (but not quite identical) issues with stateless encoders.
>>> Related to this is the question whether buffer indices that are used to refer
>>> to reference frames should refer to the capture or output queue.
>>> Using capture indices works if you never queue more than one request at a time:
>>> you know exactly what the capture buffer index is of the decoded I-frame, and
>>> you can use that in the following requests.
>>> But if multiple requests are queued, then you don't necessarily know to which
>>> capture buffer an I-frame will be decoded, so then you can't provide this index
>>> to following B/P-frames. This puts restrictions on userspace: you can only
>>> queue B/P-frames once you have decoded the I-frame. This might be perfectly
>>> acceptable, though.
> IIUC at the moment we are indeed using CAPTURE buffer indexes, e.g:
> .. flat-table:: struct v4l2_ctrl_mpeg2_slice_params
> ..
> - ``backward_ref_index``
> - Index for the V4L2 buffer to use as backward reference, used
> with
> B-coded and P-coded frames.
> So I wonder how is the user-space currently exercising Cedrus doing
> here? Waiting for each frame used as a reference to be dequeued?

No, the assumption is (if I understand correctly) that userspace won't
touch the memory of the dequeued reference buffer so HW can just point
to it.

Paul, please correct me if I am wrong.

What does chromeOS do?

The cedrus approach sounds reasonable, although it should be documented
that userspace shouldn't modify the data in a reference frame.

>>> Using output buffer indices will work (the driver will know to which capture
>>> buffer index the I-frames mapped), but it requires that the output buffer that
>>> contained a reference frame isn't requeued, since that means that the driver
>>> will lose this mapping. I think this will make things too confusing, though.
>>> A third option is that you don't refer to reference frames by buffer index,
>>> but instead by some other counter (sequence counter, perhaps?).
>> Definitely not sequence number, since it has the same problem as buffer index.
>> This could be a value relative to the frame you are trying to decode: i.e. 'use
>> the capture buffer from X frames ago'. This makes it index independent and is
>> still easy to keep track of inside the driver and application.
> Sounds like that would work, although the driver would need to
> maintain a history of processed frames indexes. We will still need to
> make sure that frames referenced have not been re-queued in the
> meantime.

Definitely, but that is all internal administration. Although I think
we would want to have some helper code for this.

After thinking about this some more I rather like this. This makes it
independent of buffer index numbers.

An alternative approach would be that the applications specifies a cookie
(u32) value to an output buffer which is then copied to the corresponding
capture buffer. That cookie is then used to refer to reference frames.

Basically userspace gives names to buffers.

The problem is that there really is no space left in v4l2_buffer, unless we
decide to turn the timecode field into a union with a 'u32 cookie' and add
a COOKIE buffer flag. Nobody is using the timecode, so that should be possible.

But if we go there, then perhaps we should just bite the bullet and create
a struct v4l2_ext_buffer that is clean:

> Drivers (or the to-be-designed codec framework?) will also need to be
> handle the case where user-space did not allocate enough buffers to
> hold all the reference frames and the frame to be decoded...

Is that a driver problem? That sounds more like something that userspace
has to handle. The driver just has to check that the referenced buffers
have not been requeued by userspace and return an error if they have.

It's a stateless codec, so if the driver detects a crappy state, then
what can it do but return an error? Not the driver's problem.



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