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Getting Maximum Mileage Out of Tickless

Suresh Siddha (suresh.b.siddha@intel.com)

Now that the tickless infrastructure is getting integrated into the base kernel, this paper talks about various add on changes that makes tickless more effective. In this paper, we will look at the user and kernel level daemons and drivers, polling for things with their own timers and its side effect on overall system idle time, with suggestions on how to make these daemons and drivers tickless-friendly.

Eliminating idle periodic ticks causes kernel process scheduler not to do idle balance as frequently as it would do otherwise. We provide insight into how this tricky issue of saving power with minimal impact on performance, is resolved in tickless kernel. There are some hardware challenges that were exposed by the requirement of per CPU timer. We will discuss how this issue was resolved by using HPET in a new mode.