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LPC2018 - Improving Graphics Interactivity - It's All in the Timing

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Published on Dec 3, 2018

url: https://linuxplumbersconf.org/event/2...
speaker: Keith Packard (HP)


Interactive applications, which includes everything from real time
games through flight simulators and virtual reality environments,
place strong real-time requirements on the whole computing environment
to ensure that the correct data are presented to the user at the
correct time. This requires two things; the first is that the time
when the information will be displayed be known to the application so
that the correct contents can be computed, and second that the frame
actually be displayed at that time.

These two pieces of information are managed inconsistently through the
graphics stack, making it difficult for applications to provide a
smooth animation experience to users. And because of the many APIs
which lie between the application rendering using OpenGL or Vulkan and
the underlying hardware, a failure to correctly handle things at
any point along the chain will result in stuttering results.

Fixing this requires changes throughout the system, from making the
kernel provide better control and information about the queuing and
presentation of images through changes in composited window systems to
ensure that images are displayed at the target time, and that
the actual time of presentation is reported back to applications and
finally additions to rendering APIs like Vulkan to expose control
over image presentation times and feedback about when images ended up
being visible to the user.

This presentation will first demonstrate the effects of poor display
timing support inherent in the current graphics stack, talk about the
different solutions required at each level of the system and finally
show the working system.

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