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Writing Device Drivers     Oracle Solaris 11.1 Information Library
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Part I Designing Device Drivers for the Oracle Solaris Platform

1.  Overview of Oracle Solaris Device Drivers

2.  Oracle Solaris Kernel and Device Tree

3.  Multithreading

4.  Properties

5.  Managing Events and Queueing Tasks

6.  Driver Autoconfiguration

7.  Device Access: Programmed I/O

8.  Interrupt Handlers

Interrupt Handler Overview

Device Interrupts

High-Level Interrupts

Legacy Interrupts

Standard and Extended Message-Signaled Interrupts

MSI Interrupts

MSI-X Interrupts

Software Interrupts

DDI Interrupt Functions

Interrupt Capability Functions

Interrupt Initialization and Destruction Functions

Priority Management Functions

Soft Interrupt Functions

Interrupt Function Examples

Registering Interrupts

Registering Legacy Interrupts

Registering MSI Interrupts

Interrupt Resource Management

The Interrupt Resource Management Feature

Callback Interfaces

Register a Callback Handler Function

Unregister a Callback Handler Function

Callback Handler Function

Interrupt Request Interfaces

Allocate an Interrupt

Modify Number of Interrupt Vectors Requested

Interrupt Usage and Flexibility

Example Implementation of Interrupt Resource Management

Interrupt Handler Functionality

Handling High-Level Interrupts

High-Level Mutexes

High-Level Interrupt Handling Example

9.  Direct Memory Access (DMA)

10.  Mapping Device and Kernel Memory

11.  Device Context Management

12.  Power Management

13.  Hardening Oracle Solaris Drivers

14.  Layered Driver Interface (LDI)

Part II Designing Specific Kinds of Device Drivers

15.  Drivers for Character Devices

16.  Drivers for Block Devices

17.  SCSI Target Drivers

18.  SCSI Host Bus Adapter Drivers

19.  Drivers for Network Devices

20.  USB Drivers

21.  SR-IOV Drivers

Part III Building a Device Driver

22.  Compiling, Loading, Packaging, and Testing Drivers

23.  Debugging, Testing, and Tuning Device Drivers

24.  Recommended Coding Practices

Part IV Appendixes

A.  Hardware Overview

B.  Summary of Oracle Solaris DDI/DKI Services

C.  Making a Device Driver 64-Bit Ready

D.  Console Frame Buffer Drivers

E.  pci.conf File


Handling High-Level Interrupts

High-level interrupts are those interrupts that interrupt at the level of the scheduler and above. This level does not allow the scheduler to run. Therefore, high-level interrupt handlers cannot be preempted by the scheduler. High-level interrupts cannot block because of the scheduler. High-level interrupts can only use mutual exclusion locks for locking.

The driver must determine whether the device is using high-level interrupts. Do this test in the driver's attach(9E) entry point when you register interrupts. See High-Level Interrupt Handling Example.

High-Level Mutexes

A mutex initialized with an interrupt priority that represents a high-level interrupt is known as a high-level mutex. While holding a high-level mutex, the driver is subject to the same restrictions as a high-level interrupt handler.

High-Level Interrupt Handling Example

In the following example, the high-level mutex (xsp->high_mu) is used only to protect data shared between the high-level interrupt handler and the soft interrupt handler. The protected data includes a queue used by both the high-level interrupt handler and the low-level handler, and a flag that indicates that the low-level handler is running. A separate low-level mutex (xsp->low_mu) protects the rest of the driver from the soft interrupt handler.

Example 8-10 Handling High-Level Interrupts With attach()

static int
mydevattach(dev_info_t *dip, ddi_attach_cmd_t cmd)
    struct mydevstate *xsp;
    /* ... */

    ret = ddi_intr_get_supported_types(dip, &type);
    if ((ret != DDI_SUCCESS) || (!(type & DDI_INTR_TYPE_FIXED))) {
        cmn_err(CE_WARN, "ddi_intr_get_supported_types() failed");
        return (DDI_FAILURE);

    ret = ddi_intr_get_nintrs(dip, DDI_INTR_TYPE_FIXED, &count);

     * Fixed interrupts can only have one interrupt. Check to make
     * sure that number of supported interrupts and number of
     * available interrupts are both equal to 1.
    if ((ret != DDI_SUCCESS) || (count != 1)) {
    cmn_err(CE_WARN, "No fixed interrupts found");
            return (DDI_FAILURE);

    xsp->xs_htable = kmem_zalloc(count * sizeof (ddi_intr_handle_t),

    ret = ddi_intr_alloc(dip, xsp->xs_htable, DDI_INTR_TYPE_FIXED, 0,
        count, &actual, 0);

    if ((ret != DDI_SUCCESS) || (actual != 1)) {
    cmn_err(CE_WARN, "ddi_intr_alloc failed 0x%x", ret");
        kmem_free(xsp->xs_htable, sizeof (ddi_intr_handle_t));
        return (DDI_FAILURE);

    ret = ddi_intr_get_pri(xsp->xs_htable[0], &intr_pri);
    if (ret != DDI_SUCCESS) {
        cmn_err(CE_WARN, "ddi_intr_get_pri failed 0x%x", ret");
        (void) ddi_intr_free(xsp->xs_htable[0]);
        kmem_free(xsp->xs_htable, sizeof (ddi_intr_handle_t));
        return (DDI_FAILURE);

    if (intr_pri >= ddi_intr_get_hilevel_pri()) {

        mutex_init(&xsp->high_mu, NULL, MUTEX_DRIVER,

        ret = ddi_intr_add_handler(xsp->xs_htable[0],
            mydevhigh_intr, (caddr_t)xsp, NULL);

        if (ret != DDI_SUCCESS) {
            cmn_err(CE_WARN, "ddi_intr_add_handler failed 0x%x", ret");
                (void) ddi_intr_free(xsp->xs_htable[0]);
                kmem_free(xsp->xs_htable, sizeof (ddi_intr_handle_t));
            return (DDI_FAILURE);

        /* add soft interrupt */
        if (ddi_intr_add_softint(xsp->xs_dip, &xsp->xs_softint_hdl,
            DDI_INTR_SOFTPRI_MAX, xs_soft_intr, (caddr_t)xsp) !=
            DDI_SUCCESS) {
            cmn_err(CE_WARN, "add soft interrupt failed");
            (void) ddi_intr_remove_handler(xsp->xs_htable[0]);
            (void) ddi_intr_free(xsp->xs_htable[0]);
            kmem_free(xsp->xs_htable, sizeof (ddi_intr_handle_t));
            return (DDI_FAILURE);

        xsp->low_soft_pri = DDI_INTR_SOFTPRI_MAX;

        mutex_init(&xsp->low_mu, NULL, MUTEX_DRIVER,

    } else {
     * regular interrupt registration continues from here
     * do not use a soft interrupt

    return (DDI_SUCCESS);

The high-level interrupt routine services the device and queues the data. The high-level routine triggers a software interrupt if the low-level routine is not running, as the following example demonstrates.

Example 8-11 High-level Interrupt Routine

static uint_t
mydevhigh_intr(caddr_t arg1, caddr_t arg2)
    struct mydevstate    *xsp = (struct mydevstate *)arg1;
    uint8_t    status;
    volatile  uint8_t  temp;
    int    need_softint;

    /* read status */
    status = ddi_get8(xsp->data_access_handle, &xsp->regp->csr);
    if (!(status & INTERRUPTING)) {
        return (DDI_INTR_UNCLAIMED); /* dev not interrupting */

    /* flush store buffers */
    temp = ddi_get8(xsp->data_access_handle, &xsp->regp->csr);

    /* read data from device, queue data for low-level interrupt handler */
    if (xsp->softint_running)
        need_softint = 0;
    else {
        need_softint = 1;

    /* read-only access to xsp->id, no mutex needed */
    if (need_softint) {
        ret = ddi_intr_trigger_softint(xsp->xs_softint_hdl, NULL);
        if (ret == DDI_EPENDING) {
            cmn_err(CE_WARN, "ddi_intr_trigger_softint() soft interrupt "
                "already pending for this handler");
        } else if (ret != DDI_SUCCESS) {
            cmn_err(CE_WARN, "ddi_intr_trigger_softint() failed");

    return (DDI_INTR_CLAIMED);

The low-level interrupt routine is started by the high-level interrupt routine, which triggers a software interrupt. The low-level interrupt routine runs until there is nothing left to process, as the following example shows.

Example 8-12 Low-Level Soft Interrupt Routine

static uint_t
mydev_soft_intr(caddr_t arg1, caddr_t arg2)
    struct mydevstate *mydevp = (struct mydevstate *)arg1;
    /* ... */
    if (mydevp->softint_count > 1) {
        return (DDI_INTR_CLAIMED);

    if ( /* queue empty */ ) {
        return (DDI_INTR_UNCLAIMED);

    mydevp->softint_running = 1;
    while (EMBEDDED COMMENT:data on queue) {
        /* Dequeue data from high-level queue. */
        /* normal interrupt processing */

    mydevp->softint_running = 0;
    mydevp->softint_count = 0;
    return (DDI_INTR_CLAIMED);