H6 board low power consumption


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Hi,  I'm here to dig into low power consumption with allwinner H6 boards, I own an OrangePi one plus and I'm already doing some tests.
With an H3 board and legacy kernel I would simply tweak fex file to turn off the unnecessary, and there is already good material around this argument.
But with mainline kernel there is no documentation about lowering power consumption.
I would really appreciate some hints on how to tweak down consumption for H6 boards and mainline kernel, probably editing DT overlay or some other config/patch files, and re-building?
I already tweaked the simplest things like:
-Using fast ethernet instead of gigabit
-Lowering max CPU frequency (even if I chose this soc for higer CPU performance)

Following what has already been done with H3 board I still have these things to try:
-Disabling GPU and HDMI

-Disabling USB

-Lowering DRAM clockspeed
And eventually downvolting more than the standard voltage for both core and memory (if possible, I'm open for try and miss testing)

If you have some hints it would be really appreciated, I will of course share my findings hoping to help someone else.
Thanks in advance

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If you read through the topics in which @tkaiser did those optimizations, you hopefully got that you need to monitor power-consumption after adjustments to see if your changes have an impact or not (best practice here is then to check consumption with PSU, not after PSU). IMO I don't think that the overall mainline support is ready to yet for such tweaks cause H6 is wip, but feel free to spend your time with it.

 

What's the goal. reduce consumption but it will be anyways 'wall powered' or do you try to make a battery powered solution?

 

37 minutes ago, AngeloB said:

-Lowering DRAM clockspeed

is set by u-boot see as far as I remember.. you would have to recompile a custom uboot and freeze it.

 

43 minutes ago, AngeloB said:

And eventually downvolting more than the standard voltage for both core and memory (if possible, I'm open for try and miss testing)

depends on used PMIC (so which H6 board you have) would need proper testing to ensure it's working reliable. Further not 100% failsafe that every H6 SoC behaves the same (e.g. I assume there aren't many people around knowing how constant the h6 SoCs are in their capability to lower cpu voltage --> should be in the DT so you can test it).

 

46 minutes ago, AngeloB said:

-Disabling GPU and HDMI

Not sure if the GPU nodes already landed in DT, check it.  HDMI is porbably there.. but you may have to check if it makes a difference, (e.g. test if https://github.com/armbian/build/blob/c8319a2740146e3106051f9206b5ba1a45306752/patch/kernel/sunxi-dev/board-h6-add-orangepi-one-plus-and-lite2.patch#L137 =disabled is already sufficient).

 

If it's for educational purposes (e.g. learning a bit about u-boot, kernel & DT), go for it.. if you really want to optimize stuff I would wait until kernel support is more mature). Make sure that for your use-case it actually has an positive impact (e.g. monitoring consumption over time and compare).

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Hi, I know that everything is Wip, and I'm ready to spend my time hoping to get something good,  and yes principally is for educational purposes.
I'm monitoring consumption with an USB tester (UM34), after PSU because I do not have a tester sensitive enough to value consumption with PSU.

Now I'm going to study about DT and how to recompile u-boot to do some tests.

Thanks for this hints ;)

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On the PC2 I found the default governor (ondemand?) makes the freq spike too much, conservative prevents it from just hitting max freq every time you load it.

 

I run conservative with an up_threshold of 50 (I think default is 25%)

 

IIRC the parameter that allows it to consider IO as part of the load is not available on conservative so you lose a small amount of performance at the top end. If you're using USB wifi dongles it also doesn't want to increase freq in a hurry when running conservative.

 

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