Jump to content

Timed Loops for Processor Affinity


stever

Recommended Posts

Hello,

I would like to be able to set different parts of my LabView code to run exclusively on different (and isolated) CPU cores (e.g. quad-core machine doing 1) random OS stuff; 2) data acquisition, 3) data processing, and 4) visualization tasks). My trusty NI sales engineer informed me there's no way to do this, but now that I have LabView (8.6), I have found the Timed Loop VI. While not exclusively for this purpose, it seems to be the only available solution for this (is this right?). So when I put a timed loop on a block diagram with some random CPU-intensive task, and wire an integer to the loop's Processor input, I can see the CPU load move from one core to another. My concern is the Timing Source. With just regular LabView I apparently only have access to the 1 kHz source (no RT target stuff to get the 1 MHz). I just want this loop to run as fast as it can, as if it were a regular while loop in the block diagram, I don't want it limited to running at 1 kHz. Is there a way to fix this? Can I tell a Timed Loop to "just run as fast/often as you can"?

Thank you!

Steve

Link to post

QUOTE (stever @ Feb 3 2009, 04:01 PM)

I just want this loop to run as fast as it can, as if it were a regular while loop in the block diagram, I don't want it limited to running at 1 kHz. Is there a way to fix this? Can I tell a Timed Loop to "just run as fast/often as you can"?

No. But in my experience, if you just use regular loops and make any shared VI's re-entrant, the OS/LV will take care of scheduling the processor cores quite well.

Alternately, you could add some NI hardware and use its clock source (you can do that in Windows as well), but I think it won't make a huge difference.

I saw an NI-WEEK demo where going from 4 simultaneous FFT's on Windows to RT improved performance from 3.8x to 4x.

N.

Link to post

I've been working on this topic recently as well. NI introduced this in LabVIEW 8.5, although I get crashes when I try to set four separate while loops running on different cores. I haven't upgraded to 8.5.1 so your mileage may vary. In 8.6 I was able to get four timed loops to work on four separate cores.

Anyway, back to your original question. I believe if you prototype your work you will see that for most code the timed loop will work and run as fast as possible when setting a dt of 0. But while you are prototyping you should try putting a "regular" while loop inside a single-run timed while loop. This will allow you to use the timed loop to only set processor affinity. Your code will be slightly "messier" but you may find it does exactly what you want.

Enjoy,

Chris

Link to post

QUOTE (Chris Davis @ Feb 3 2009, 05:50 PM)

But while you are prototyping you should try putting a "regular" while loop inside a single-run timed while loop. This will allow you to use the timed loop to only set processor affinity. Your code will be slightly "messier" but you may find it does exactly what you want.

Thats a very cool idea. But did you see any performance benefit by manually farming out processing to different cores?

N.

Link to post

QUOTE (stever @ Feb 3 2009, 07:01 PM)

Hello,

I would like to be able to set different parts of my LabView code to run exclusively on different (and isolated) CPU cores... I have LabView (8.6*),... I just want this loop to run as fast as it can, as if it were a regular while loop in the block diagram,...

Thank you!

Steve

I don't remeber which version it was released in but the Timed Sequence lets you specify the CPU afinity.

Ben

Link to post

QUOTE

I believe if you prototype your work you will see that for most code the timed loop will work and run as fast as possible when setting a dt of 0.

I was looking at that. My only issue is that I don't know how the Timing Source interacts with the dt. You have to select something for Timing Source, and the only option is the 1 kHz clock. If you set dt to 0 does the structure run as fast as possible, or at 1 kHz? Documentation from NI is sorely lacking in this regard.

QUOTE

But while you are prototyping you should try putting a "regular" while loop inside a single-run timed while loop. This will allow you to use the timed loop to only set processor affinity. Your code will be slightly "messier" but you may find it does exactly what you want.

That's a good idea. What I think I'll do is use a regular while loop (which will run as fast as it can), inside of which is a Timed Sequence whose Timing Source is "1 kHz Clock <reset at structure start>". Inside this Timed Sequence is my LabView code. I think this is equivalent to what you suggested.

Thanks for the suggestion!

Link to post

QUOTE (Chris Davis @ Feb 4 2009, 07:20 AM)

Really neat trick.

QUOTE (stever @ Feb 5 2009, 12:33 AM)

That's a good idea. What I think I'll do is use a regular while loop (which will run as fast as it can), inside of which is a Timed Sequence whose Timing Source is "1 kHz Clock <reset at structure start>". Inside this Timed Sequence is my LabView code. I think this is equivalent to what you suggested.

I do not think this is the same as Chris' suggestion. You would have the overhead of calling the Timed loop for every iteration. I think it should be the other way around the Code inside the While loop which is inside the Timed Loop

Link to post

QUOTE (Neville D @ Feb 4 2009, 12:18 PM)

Thats a very cool idea. But did you see any performance benefit by manually farming out processing to different cores?

N.

Sorry I haven't gotten back to you neville. Honestly, I didn't see much performance gain when I was the one assigning the tasks to a specific processor. But I could see where the process of tasks switching processors would cause my program to take a hit (albeit not a big hit). Others, who are using more intensive tasks, could see other responses. But since I had tried it, and the original poster had a question about timed loops, I thought I would throw my 2 cents in.

Link to post

QUOTE (Chris Davis @ Feb 5 2009, 07:17 PM)

Honestly, I didn't see much performance gain when I was the one assigning the tasks to a specific processor. But I could see where the process of tasks switching processors would cause my program to take a hit (albeit not a big hit).

Yes, thats exactly what I saw as well. It doesn't seem to make any difference. Better to let the OS/LV optimize CPU switching.

Thanks for the reply!

N.

Link to post
  • 3 months later...

Hi friend,

I guess I have the same problem as you have,have you found any solution for that yet?

i Hope so.

thank you

damomn

QUOTE (stever @ Feb 4 2009, 12:01 AM)

Hello,

I would like to be able to set different parts of my LabView code to run exclusively on different (and isolated) CPU cores (e.g. quad-core machine doing 1) random OS stuff; 2) data acquisition, 3) data processing, and 4) visualization tasks). My trusty NI sales engineer informed me there's no way to do this, but now that I have LabView (8.6), I have found the Timed Loop VI. While not exclusively for this purpose, it seems to be the only available solution for this (is this right?). So when I put a timed loop on a block diagram with some random CPU-intensive task, and wire an integer to the loop's Processor input, I can see the CPU load move from one core to another. My concern is the Timing Source. With just regular LabView I apparently only have access to the 1 kHz source (no RT target stuff to get the 1 MHz). I just want this loop to run as fast as it can, as if it were a regular while loop in the block diagram, I don't want it limited to running at 1 kHz. Is there a way to fix this? Can I tell a Timed Loop to "just run as fast/often as you can"?

Thank you!

Steve

Link to post

One of the reasons that something like this might be useful is if you can do something like I have done before:

Create a thread

Set the affinity of thread for one cpu

bump the thread priority to realtime

This stops inturrupts (e.g. mouse, keyboard) and runs the thread pretty much to the exclusion of all else on that cpu (to be honest, it has been a while, I may have done it via a second process, and had some IPC).

You have to be careful to only do this with a multi-processor machine and also to ensure that you don't realtime more than n-1 CPUs as otherwise the OS can't get in to process anything.

I never did anything more than p-o-c with it, we decided not to bother in the end.

Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.