CPU Shielding capability

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CPU Shielding capability
Tim Bird, Sony Mobile


In multi-processor realtime systems, it is sometimes desirable to isolate some CPUs in the system to enhance their capability to maintain realtime performance.

Normally, when the Linux kernel is running in an SMP configuration, any CPU may take an interrupt or run a process. Under realtime conditions, the operations of scheduling multiple processes or handling an interrupt may interfere with a particular process meeting it's realtime deadlines.

It would be nice to be able to isolate a realtime process on a CPU such that it was shielded from the scheduling of other processes and from handling interrupts.

This project would create a new 'shield' command, which would restrict a particular CPU to execution of an particular process (or set of processes), and also prevent that CPU from handling interrupts. This might involve modifying the kernel scheduler and using IRQ affinity features in the kernel to achieve this result.

cgroups supports such a feature, called 'cpusets', but if the feature can be provided outside of cgroups, that would be better, since cgroups is generally incompatible with realtime embedded Linux.

Related work



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