Writing Device Drivers

cv_wait() and cv_timedwait() Functions

If a thread is blocked on a condition with cv_wait(9F) and that condition does not occur, the thread would wait forever. To avoid that situation, use cv_timedwait(9F), which depends upon another thread to perform a wakeup. cv_timedwait() takes an absolute wait time as an argument. cv_timedwait() returns -1 if the time is reached and the event has not occurred. cv_timedwait() returns a positive value if the condition is met.

cv_timedwait(9F) requires an absolute wait time expressed in clock ticks since the system was last rebooted. The wait time can be determined by retrieving the current value with ddi_get_lbolt(9F). The driver usually has a maximum number of seconds or microseconds to wait, so this value is converted to clock ticks with drv_usectohz(9F) and added to the value from ddi_get_lbolt(9F).

The following example shows how to use cv_timedwait(9F) to wait up to five seconds to access the device before returning EIO to the caller.

Example 3–2 Using cv_timedwait()

clock_t            cur_ticks, to;
while (xsp->busy) {
        cur_ticks = ddi_get_lbolt();
        to = cur_ticks + drv_usectohz(5000000); /* 5 seconds from now */
        if (cv_timedwait(&xsp->cv, &xsp->mu, to) == -1) {
                 * The timeout time 'to' was reached without the
                 * condition being signaled.
                /* tidy up and exit */
                return (EIO);
xsp->busy = 1;

Although device driver writers generally prefer to use cv_timedwait(9F) over cv_wait(9F), sometimes cv_wait(9F) is a better choice. For example, cv_wait(9F) is better if a driver is waiting on the following conditions: