Commit 307cc9ba authored by Takashi Iwai's avatar Takashi Iwai
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ALSA: usb-audio: Reduce latency at playback start, take#2

This is another attempt for the reduction of the latency at the start
of a USB audio playback stream.  The first attempt in the commit
9ce650a7 caused an unexpected regression (a deadlock with pipewire
usage) and was later reverted by the commit 4b820e16.  The devils
are always living in details, of course; the cause of the deadlock was
the call of snd_pcm_period_elapsed() inside prepare_playback_urb()
callback.  In the original code, this callback is never called from
the stream lock context as it's driven solely from the URB complete
callback.  Along with the movement of the URB submission into the
trigger START, this prepare call may be also executed in the stream
lock context, hence it deadlocked with the another lock in
snd_pcm_period_elapsed().  (Note that this happens only conditionally
with a small period size that matches with the URB buffer length,
which was a reason I overlooked during my tests.  Also, the problem
wasn't seen in the capture stream because the capture stream handles
the period-elapsed only at retire callback that isn't executed at the

If it were only about avoiding the deadlock, it'd be possible to use
snd_pcm_period_elapsed_under_stream_lock() as a solution.  However, in
general, the period elapsed notification must be sent after the actual
stream start, and replacing the call wouldn't satisfy the pattern.
A better option is to delay the notification after the stream start
procedure finished, instead.  In the case of USB framework, one of the
fitting place would be the complete callback of the first URB.

So, as a workaround of the deadlock and the order fixes above, in
addition to the re-applying the changes in the commit 9ce650a7,
this patch introduces a new flag indicating the delayed period-elapsed
handling and sets it under the possible deadlock condition
(i.e. prepare callback being called before subs->running is set).
Once when the flag is set, the period-elapsed call is handled at a
later URB complete call instead.

As a reference for the original motivation for the low-latency change,
I cite here again:

| USB-audio driver behaves a bit strangely for the playback stream --
| namely, it starts sending silent packets at PCM prepare state while
| the actual data is submitted at first when the trigger START is
| kicked off.  This is a workaround for the behavior where URBs are
| processed too quickly at the beginning.  That is, if we start
| submitting URBs at trigger START, the first few URBs will be
| immediately completed, and this would result in the immediate
| period-elapsed calls right after the start, which may confuse
| applications.
| OTOH, submitting the data after silent URBs would, of course, result
| in a certain delay of the actual data processing, and this is rather
| more serious problem on modern systems, in practice.
| This patch tries to revert the workaround and lets the URB
| submission starting at PCM trigger for the playback again.  As far
| as I've tested with various backends (native ALSA, PA, JACK, PW), I
| haven't seen any problems (famous last words :)
| Note that the capture stream handling needs no such workaround,
| since the capture is driven per received URB.


Signed-off-by: default avatarTakashi Iwai <>

Signed-off-by: default avatarTakashi Iwai <>
parent 31028cbe
......@@ -158,6 +158,7 @@ struct snd_usb_substream {
unsigned int stream_offset_adj; /* Bytes to drop from beginning of stream (for non-compliant devices) */
unsigned int running: 1; /* running status */
unsigned int period_elapsed_pending; /* delay period handling */
unsigned int buffer_bytes; /* buffer size in bytes */
unsigned int inflight_bytes; /* in-flight data bytes on buffer (for playback) */
......@@ -611,13 +611,9 @@ static int snd_usb_pcm_prepare(struct snd_pcm_substream *substream)
subs->hwptr_done = 0;
subs->transfer_done = 0;
subs->last_frame_number = 0;
subs->period_elapsed_pending = 0;
runtime->delay = 0;
/* for playback, submit the URBs now; otherwise, the first hwptr_done
* updates for all URBs would happen at the same time when starting */
if (subs->direction == SNDRV_PCM_STREAM_PLAYBACK)
ret = start_endpoints(subs);
return ret;
......@@ -1398,6 +1394,10 @@ static void prepare_playback_urb(struct snd_usb_substream *subs,
subs->trigger_tstamp_pending_update = false;
if (period_elapsed && !subs->running) {
subs->period_elapsed_pending = 1;
period_elapsed = 0;
spin_unlock_irqrestore(&subs->lock, flags);
urb->transfer_buffer_length = bytes;
if (period_elapsed)
......@@ -1413,6 +1413,7 @@ static void retire_playback_urb(struct snd_usb_substream *subs,
unsigned long flags;
struct snd_urb_ctx *ctx = urb->context;
bool period_elapsed = false;
spin_lock_irqsave(&subs->lock, flags);
if (ctx->queued) {
......@@ -1423,13 +1424,20 @@ static void retire_playback_urb(struct snd_usb_substream *subs,
subs->last_frame_number = usb_get_current_frame_number(subs->dev);
if (subs->running) {
period_elapsed = subs->period_elapsed_pending;
subs->period_elapsed_pending = 0;
spin_unlock_irqrestore(&subs->lock, flags);
if (period_elapsed)
static int snd_usb_substream_playback_trigger(struct snd_pcm_substream *substream,
int cmd)
struct snd_usb_substream *subs = substream->runtime->private_data;
int err;
switch (cmd) {
......@@ -1440,6 +1448,14 @@ static int snd_usb_substream_playback_trigger(struct snd_pcm_substream *substrea
err = start_endpoints(subs);
if (err < 0) {
return err;
subs->running = 1;
dev_dbg(&subs->dev->dev, "%d:%d Start Playback PCM\n",
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