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GPIO Descriptor Consumer Interface
This document describes the consumer interface of the GPIO framework. Note that
it describes the new descriptor-based interface. For a description of the
deprecated integer-based GPIO interface please refer to gpio-legacy.txt.
Guidelines for GPIOs consumers
Drivers that can't work without standard GPIO calls should have Kconfig entries
that depend on GPIOLIB. The functions that allow a driver to obtain and use
GPIOs are available by including the following file:
#include <linux/gpio/consumer.h>
All the functions that work with the descriptor-based GPIO interface are
prefixed with gpiod_. The gpio_ prefix is used for the legacy interface. No
other function in the kernel should use these prefixes.
Obtaining and Disposing GPIOs
With the descriptor-based interface, GPIOs are identified with an opaque,
non-forgeable handler that must be obtained through a call to one of the
gpiod_get() functions. Like many other kernel subsystems, gpiod_get() takes the
device that will use the GPIO and the function the requested GPIO is supposed to
struct gpio_desc *gpiod_get(struct device *dev, const char *con_id,
enum gpiod_flags flags)
If a function is implemented by using several GPIOs together (e.g. a simple LED
device that displays digits), an additional index argument can be specified:
struct gpio_desc *gpiod_get_index(struct device *dev,
const char *con_id, unsigned int idx,
enum gpiod_flags flags)
For a more detailed description of the con_id parameter in the DeviceTree case
see Documentation/gpio/board.txt
The flags parameter is used to optionally specify a direction and initial value
for the GPIO. Values can be:
* GPIOD_ASIS or 0 to not initialize the GPIO at all. The direction must be set
later with one of the dedicated functions.
* GPIOD_IN to initialize the GPIO as input.
* GPIOD_OUT_LOW to initialize the GPIO as output with a value of 0.
* GPIOD_OUT_HIGH to initialize the GPIO as output with a value of 1.
Both functions return either a valid GPIO descriptor, or an error code checkable
with IS_ERR() (they will never return a NULL pointer). -ENOENT will be returned
if and only if no GPIO has been assigned to the device/function/index triplet,
other error codes are used for cases where a GPIO has been assigned but an error
occurred while trying to acquire it. This is useful to discriminate between mere
errors and an absence of GPIO for optional GPIO parameters. For the common
pattern where a GPIO is optional, the gpiod_get_optional() and
gpiod_get_index_optional() functions can be used. These functions return NULL
instead of -ENOENT if no GPIO has been assigned to the requested function:
struct gpio_desc *gpiod_get_optional(struct device *dev,
const char *con_id,
enum gpiod_flags flags)
struct gpio_desc *gpiod_get_index_optional(struct device *dev,
const char *con_id,
unsigned int index,
enum gpiod_flags flags)
For a function using multiple GPIOs all of those can be obtained with one call:
struct gpio_descs *gpiod_get_array(struct device *dev,
const char *con_id,
enum gpiod_flags flags)
This function returns a struct gpio_descs which contains an array of
struct gpio_descs {
unsigned int ndescs;
struct gpio_desc *desc[];
The following function returns NULL instead of -ENOENT if no GPIOs have been
assigned to the requested function:
struct gpio_descs *gpiod_get_array_optional(struct device *dev,
const char *con_id,
enum gpiod_flags flags)
Device-managed variants of these functions are also defined:
struct gpio_desc *devm_gpiod_get(struct device *dev, const char *con_id,
enum gpiod_flags flags)
struct gpio_desc *devm_gpiod_get_index(struct device *dev,
const char *con_id,
unsigned int idx,
enum gpiod_flags flags)
struct gpio_desc *devm_gpiod_get_optional(struct device *dev,
const char *con_id,
enum gpiod_flags flags)
struct gpio_desc *devm_gpiod_get_index_optional(struct device *dev,
const char *con_id,
unsigned int index,
enum gpiod_flags flags)
struct gpio_descs *devm_gpiod_get_array(struct device *dev,
const char *con_id,
enum gpiod_flags flags)
struct gpio_descs *devm_gpiod_get_array_optional(struct device *dev,
const char *con_id,
enum gpiod_flags flags)
A GPIO descriptor can be disposed of using the gpiod_put() function:
void gpiod_put(struct gpio_desc *desc)
For an array of GPIOs this function can be used:
void gpiod_put_array(struct gpio_descs *descs)
It is strictly forbidden to use a descriptor after calling these functions.
It is also not allowed to individually release descriptors (using gpiod_put())
from an array acquired with gpiod_get_array().
The device-managed variants are, unsurprisingly:
void devm_gpiod_put(struct device *dev, struct gpio_desc *desc)
void devm_gpiod_put_array(struct device *dev, struct gpio_descs *descs)
Using GPIOs
Setting Direction
The first thing a driver must do with a GPIO is setting its direction. If no
direction-setting flags have been given to gpiod_get*(), this is done by
invoking one of the gpiod_direction_*() functions:
int gpiod_direction_input(struct gpio_desc *desc)
int gpiod_direction_output(struct gpio_desc *desc, int value)
The return value is zero for success, else a negative errno. It should be
checked, since the get/set calls don't return errors and since misconfiguration
is possible. You should normally issue these calls from a task context. However,
for spinlock-safe GPIOs it is OK to use them before tasking is enabled, as part
of early board setup.
For output GPIOs, the value provided becomes the initial output value. This
helps avoid signal glitching during system startup.
A driver can also query the current direction of a GPIO:
int gpiod_get_direction(const struct gpio_desc *desc)
This function will return either GPIOF_DIR_IN or GPIOF_DIR_OUT.
Be aware that there is no default direction for GPIOs. Therefore, **using a GPIO
without setting its direction first is illegal and will result in undefined
Spinlock-Safe GPIO Access
Most GPIO controllers can be accessed with memory read/write instructions. Those
don't need to sleep, and can safely be done from inside hard (non-threaded) IRQ
handlers and similar contexts.
Use the following calls to access GPIOs from an atomic context:
int gpiod_get_value(const struct gpio_desc *desc);
void gpiod_set_value(struct gpio_desc *desc, int value);
The values are boolean, zero for low, nonzero for high. When reading the value
of an output pin, the value returned should be what's seen on the pin. That
won't always match the specified output value, because of issues including
open-drain signaling and output latencies.
The get/set calls do not return errors because "invalid GPIO" should have been
reported earlier from gpiod_direction_*(). However, note that not all platforms
can read the value of output pins; those that can't should always return zero.
Also, using these calls for GPIOs that can't safely be accessed without sleeping
(see below) is an error.
GPIO Access That May Sleep
Some GPIO controllers must be accessed using message based buses like I2C or
SPI. Commands to read or write those GPIO values require waiting to get to the
head of a queue to transmit a command and get its response. This requires
sleeping, which can't be done from inside IRQ handlers.
Platforms that support this type of GPIO distinguish them from other GPIOs by
returning nonzero from this call:
int gpiod_cansleep(const struct gpio_desc *desc)
To access such GPIOs, a different set of accessors is defined:
int gpiod_get_value_cansleep(const struct gpio_desc *desc)
void gpiod_set_value_cansleep(struct gpio_desc *desc, int value)
Accessing such GPIOs requires a context which may sleep, for example a threaded
IRQ handler, and those accessors must be used instead of spinlock-safe
accessors without the cansleep() name suffix.
Other than the fact that these accessors might sleep, and will work on GPIOs
that can't be accessed from hardIRQ handlers, these calls act the same as the
spinlock-safe calls.
Active-low State and Raw GPIO Values
Device drivers like to manage the logical state of a GPIO, i.e. the value their
device will actually receive, no matter what lies between it and the GPIO line.
In some cases, it might make sense to control the actual GPIO line value. The
following set of calls ignore the active-low property of a GPIO and work on the
raw line value:
int gpiod_get_raw_value(const struct gpio_desc *desc)
void gpiod_set_raw_value(struct gpio_desc *desc, int value)
int gpiod_get_raw_value_cansleep(const struct gpio_desc *desc)
void gpiod_set_raw_value_cansleep(struct gpio_desc *desc, int value)
int gpiod_direction_output_raw(struct gpio_desc *desc, int value)
The active-low state of a GPIO can also be queried using the following call:
int gpiod_is_active_low(const struct gpio_desc *desc)
Note that these functions should only be used with great moderation ; a driver
should not have to care about the physical line level.
The active-low property
As a driver should not have to care about the physical line level, all of the
gpiod_set_value_xxx() or gpiod_set_array_value_xxx() functions operate with
the *logical* value. With this they take the active-low property into account.
This means that they check whether the GPIO is configured to be active-low,
and if so, they manipulate the passed value before the physical line level is
With this, all the gpiod_set_(array)_value_xxx() functions interpret the
parameter "value" as "active" ("1") or "inactive" ("0"). The physical line
level will be driven accordingly.
As an example, if the active-low property for a dedicated GPIO is set, and the
gpiod_set_(array)_value_xxx() passes "active" ("1"), the physical line level
will be driven low.
To summarize:
Function (example) active-low property physical line
gpiod_set_raw_value(desc, 0); don't care low
gpiod_set_raw_value(desc, 1); don't care high
gpiod_set_value(desc, 0); default (active-high) low
gpiod_set_value(desc, 1); default (active-high) high
gpiod_set_value(desc, 0); active-low high
gpiod_set_value(desc, 1); active-low low
Please note again that the set_raw/get_raw functions should be avoided as much
as possible, especially by drivers which should not care about the actual
physical line level and worry about the logical value instead.
Set multiple GPIO outputs with a single function call
The following functions set the output values of an array of GPIOs:
void gpiod_set_array_value(unsigned int array_size,
struct gpio_desc **desc_array,
int *value_array)
void gpiod_set_raw_array_value(unsigned int array_size,
struct gpio_desc **desc_array,
int *value_array)
void gpiod_set_array_value_cansleep(unsigned int array_size,
struct gpio_desc **desc_array,
int *value_array)
void gpiod_set_raw_array_value_cansleep(unsigned int array_size,
struct gpio_desc **desc_array,
int *value_array)
The array can be an arbitrary set of GPIOs. The functions will try to set
GPIOs belonging to the same bank or chip simultaneously if supported by the
corresponding chip driver. In that case a significantly improved performance
can be expected. If simultaneous setting is not possible the GPIOs will be set
The gpiod_set_array() functions take three arguments:
* array_size - the number of array elements
* desc_array - an array of GPIO descriptors
* value_array - an array of values to assign to the GPIOs
The descriptor array can be obtained using the gpiod_get_array() function
or one of its variants. If the group of descriptors returned by that function
matches the desired group of GPIOs, those GPIOs can be set by simply using
the struct gpio_descs returned by gpiod_get_array():
struct gpio_descs *my_gpio_descs = gpiod_get_array(...);
gpiod_set_array_value(my_gpio_descs->ndescs, my_gpio_descs->desc,
It is also possible to set a completely arbitrary array of descriptors. The
descriptors may be obtained using any combination of gpiod_get() and
gpiod_get_array(). Afterwards the array of descriptors has to be setup
manually before it can be used with gpiod_set_array().
Note that for optimal performance GPIOs belonging to the same chip should be
contiguous within the array of descriptors.
GPIOs mapped to IRQs
GPIO lines can quite often be used as IRQs. You can get the IRQ number
corresponding to a given GPIO using the following call:
int gpiod_to_irq(const struct gpio_desc *desc)
It will return an IRQ number, or a negative errno code if the mapping can't be
done (most likely because that particular GPIO cannot be used as IRQ). It is an
unchecked error to use a GPIO that wasn't set up as an input using
gpiod_direction_input(), or to use an IRQ number that didn't originally come
from gpiod_to_irq(). gpiod_to_irq() is not allowed to sleep.
Non-error values returned from gpiod_to_irq() can be passed to request_irq() or
free_irq(). They will often be stored into IRQ resources for platform devices,
by the board-specific initialization code. Note that IRQ trigger options are
part of the IRQ interface, e.g. IRQF_TRIGGER_FALLING, as are system wakeup
On ACPI systems, GPIOs are described by GpioIo()/GpioInt() resources listed by
the _CRS configuration objects of devices. Those resources do not provide
connection IDs (names) for GPIOs, so it is necessary to use an additional
mechanism for this purpose.
Systems compliant with ACPI 5.1 or newer may provide a _DSD configuration object
which, among other things, may be used to provide connection IDs for specific
GPIOs described by the GpioIo()/GpioInt() resources in _CRS. If that is the
case, it will be handled by the GPIO subsystem automatically. However, if the
_DSD is not present, the mappings between GpioIo()/GpioInt() resources and GPIO
connection IDs need to be provided by device drivers.
For details refer to Documentation/acpi/gpio-properties.txt
Interacting With the Legacy GPIO Subsystem
Many kernel subsystems still handle GPIOs using the legacy integer-based
interface. Although it is strongly encouraged to upgrade them to the safer
descriptor-based API, the following two functions allow you to convert a GPIO
descriptor into the GPIO integer namespace and vice-versa:
int desc_to_gpio(const struct gpio_desc *desc)
struct gpio_desc *gpio_to_desc(unsigned gpio)
The GPIO number returned by desc_to_gpio() can be safely used as long as the
GPIO descriptor has not been freed. All the same, a GPIO number passed to
gpio_to_desc() must have been properly acquired, and usage of the returned GPIO
descriptor is only possible after the GPIO number has been released.
Freeing a GPIO obtained by one API with the other API is forbidden and an
unchecked error.