1 2 Previous Next 19 Replies Latest reply on Jul 29, 2016 6:56 AM by FerryT

    PREEMPT RT on Intel Edison



      I run into trouble trying to patch the PREEMPT RT patch to the Intel Edison.

      Steps I've done:

      1) Get Sources from http://downloadmirror.intel.com/25028/eng/edison-src-ww25.5-15.tgz
      (I am using an older release because it seems that some things changed and the BSP guide has not been updated)

      2) make setup

      3) cd edison-src/out/linux64
      source poky/oe-init-build-env

      bitbake edison-image


      So far so good. PostBuild.sh and flashing to the Edison works with no errors. But the problems appear when I try to patch:

      cd edison-src/meta-intel-edison/meta-intel-edison-bsp/recipes-kernel/linux/files

      wget https://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/projects/rt/3.10/older/patch-3.10.17-rt12.patch.bz2

      bzip2 -d patch-3.10.17-rt12.patch.bz2

      vim ../linux-yocto_3.10.bbappend

      Add "SRC_URI += "file://patch-3.10.17-rt12.patch""

      4) cd edison-src/out/linux64/build

      bitbake virtual/kernel -c menuconfig

      Then the error occurs (please see the attached document) (Error Log1).


      There are other instructions in the web how to patch the PREEMPT RT patch to the linux kernel (PREEMPT_RT-enabled Linux Kernel 3.10.17 on Intel Edison ). But I also get an error following these instructions: Bitbaking menuconfig works; But when I try to bitbake edison-image I get an error (Error Log 2).


      I am building on Ubuntu 14.04 64bit. Does anyone know that to do in this case?


      Thank you very much for any help!

        • 1. Re: PREEMPT RT on Intel Edison

          I have been able to apply a patch and build. I'll try to lookup how we did that and report back here. We haven't tested the result yet, but I expect to have some results (good or bad) in the next weeks.

          • 2. Re: PREEMPT RT on Intel Edison

            Hello FerryT,


            Would be really great if you could post the steps and on which OS you built.

            Thank you very much!

            • 3. Re: PREEMPT RT on Intel Edison

              Has someone experienced these errors? Or could anyone build the image with the Preempt RT patch?

              • 4. Re: PREEMPT RT on Intel Edison
                Intel Corporation
                This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

                Hi tannerl,

                We’ve been researching about the preempt RT patch and the Edison but this patch is not validated nor supported on the Edison. We’ve already made the recommendation to see PREEMPT_RT support in future releases.

                @FerryT: What were your results when trying to apply the patch?


                • 5. Re: PREEMPT RT on Intel Edison

                  The patch builds.


                  This week we are developing a simple test that will allow two Edisons to communicate with 2Mb/s and will allow us to grap some scope screenshots that will show timing on the standard (Edison 3.10.17, now a bit outdated) kernel.


                  By the end of next week we hope to flash the PREEMPT RT kernel (based on the same 3.10.17) using the same test software and grab new screenshots to compare.


                  We intend to publish the communication test and the yocto layer or recipe but haven't decided yet how (may be github), I'll revisit here to report.

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                  • 6. Re: PREEMPT RT on Intel Edison

                    Hi FerryT,


                    Thanks for the update!

                    It would be really great if you could share this with us. Thank you!

                    • 7. Re: PREEMPT RT on Intel Edison

                      Ok, so we finally got code that uses the HSU (uart) running at 2Mb/sec. It writes each 15ms a 1024 byte packet and read independently.


                      Because of this you can tie the RX to the TX of a single Edison (read and write occur simultaneously) or with a cross between 2 Edisons.


                      With no preempt-rt we see the sending of packets nicely with a minimum of 15ms interval, with some jitter of 2ms, but sometimes this much longer. I have been using iperf as a stress tester as that uses the USB (to our ethernet port) or the wifi and seen the delay sometimes going up to even 40ms! I believe this is a realistic stress test for our application . We do not seem te be loosing any received packet, although I am a bit unhappy with the large delay that occurs after all the bytes have been received (caused by the dma transfer timeout?)


                      I'll post some sceenshots of the oscilloscope later.


                      Also today we not only build the preempt-rt but also flashed the image and got it to run. More results will follow after validating our measurements.

                      • 8. Re: PREEMPT RT on Intel Edison

                        So, what does our code do?

                        • we initialize the UART by ourselves as it appear MRAA 0.7.2 (as provided when you use http://git.yoctoproject.org/cgit/cgit.cgi/meta-intel-edison/ as we do) does the bare init wrong and you get random trailing char's on transmit
                        • we use 2000000, P, 1
                        • we intend to get parity and framing errors translated to NULL, but I suspect that doe to using DMA this translation does not happen
                        • we use the well known:


                        int getNumberOfAvailableBytes(int fd) {

                          int nbytes;

                          ioctl(fd, FIONREAD, &nbytes);

                          return nbytes;



                        to get the number of bytes in the buffer, and read only the bytes present. However this does not seem te be working well as we always get 0 or the complete received message. I suspect again this is due to the DMA waiting for a certain timeout before signalling the bytes in the buffer. Meh. I hate unnecessary waits.

                        • we take a full buffer of 1024 char and use base64 encode, to make sure the chars NULL, STX, ETX and \FF can never appear in a message. This multiplies the number of bytes by 1.33x.
                        • before encoding we calculate a CRC32C on the message using the fastest algorithm available (intel's assembly one from the kernel, but ported to C) and put that at the end, overwriting the last 4 NULL bytes.
                        • we put a STX at the beginnen and ETX at the end
                        • we send this each 15ms and toglge a pin (using mmap, but that might be a mistake for preempt_rt as I read today it will cause https://rt.wiki.kernel.org/index.php/Frequently_Asked_Questions that causes page faults, which is not got for a RT application. Or does that not apply here?). The pin is toggled just before and after the write.
                        • we receive continuously whatever is in the receive buffer, strip whatever is between STX and ETX, decode it and if the message length is 1024 verify the CRC32C. The pin is toggled just before the decode and just after the CRC checks out, so a failed CRC will flip the polarity of this signal.
                        • 9. Re: PREEMPT RT on Intel Edison

                          So how does that look like?


                          Here is the edison talking to itself, without stressing.


                          CH3 shows the transmit toggle, CH4 the decode/crc check toggle, CH2 the data (sent/received simultaneously as the TX is looped back).


                          Our scope nicely shows a 43 - 98 us delay from the write command to the first byte actually transmitting.

                          The we see a whopping 2ms delay from the last byte received to the decode phase.

                          Time between transmits is 15.0 to 15.6ms, with a stdev of 40us (those in the know will recognize a 6x sigma >> 0.6ms, so these are outliers as can be expected in a non-rt OS).

                          Our message consists of 1372 bytes (1024 base64 encoded, + 2 preambles + STX + ETX) which is 15092 bits (11 bits/char) = 7.546ms.

                          Time to the decode is 8.1 - 9.95ms.

                          The DMA timeout takes 0.55 - 2,4ms (grrr), however looking at the mean is normally 2ms +/- 0.15ms.

                          • 10. Re: PREEMPT RT on Intel Edison

                            Things are less rosy when stressing using iperf (this was over our eth modem which achieves 80Mb/s).



                            Sending bytes sometimes gets delayed up to 40ms (from the statistics), while the screen shot shows (probably) a task switch happening in the middle of the decode/crc phase. The first decode toggle is so far delayed that it happens during the transmit of the next message.

                            • 11. Re: PREEMPT RT on Intel Edison

                              Just for fun, communication between 2 edisons (unstressed).


                              CH1 is now the data received from the other edison (when ready decoded CH4 shows the pulse).

                              • 12. Re: PREEMPT RT on Intel Edison

                                I do have data from the preempt-rt kernel, however, I just I need to set the priority of the user space program right, lock memory etc, which we didn't do.

                                But, here is a screen shot from our kernel:


                                I printed all messages from journalctl with preempt as I was looking for kernel errors (there were some). Need to look into that, so far it seems harmless with kernel booting, networking, wireless, toggling pins and serial.

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                                • 13. Re: PREEMPT RT on Intel Edison

                                  How did we build? We created our own layer so we don't have to meddle with the one from http://git.yoctoproject.org/cgit/cgit.cgi/meta-intel-edison/. In the layer we add a recipe that patches the kernel for rt_preempt, increases the DMA buffer, adds our eth driver and a driver for an additional USB/serial. It also copies the pre configured kernel conf file to the build directory (yeah, that could be nicer by patching the kernel conf file, but I figured as the meta-intel-edison layer just copies the conf file, so can I).


                                  The recipe is shared here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B272plWyW_YWb1l4U25kb0RnamM

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                                  • 14. Re: PREEMPT RT on Intel Edison

                                    I hope do modify the priority of the program, and redo the preempt_rt measurements and upload the code to github, tomorrow or.


                                    A note about the code: it has been done by our intern who had 0 experience in programming, and needed to learn C, make, git, bitbake, oscilloscopes in 10 days. He did get a bit of help from us of course :-) (he's my son).

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