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CPUFREQ (4) | Special files and drivers | Unix Manual Pages | :man


cpufreq - CPU frequency control framework


Sysctl Variables
Supported Drivers
Kernel Interface
Driver Interface
See Also


.Cd "device cpufreq"

.In sys/cpu.h int cpufreq_levels "device_t dev" "struct cf_level *levels" "int *count" int cpufreq_set "device_t dev" "const struct cf_level *level" "int priority" int cpufreq_get "device_t dev" "struct cf_level *level" int
.Fo cpufreq_drv_settings "device_t dev" "struct cf_setting *sets" "int *count"
.Fc int cpufreq_drv_type "device_t dev" "int *type" int cpufreq_drv_set "device_t dev" "const struct cf_setting *set" int cpufreq_drv_get "device_t dev" "struct cf_setting *set"


The cpufreq driver provides a unified kernel and user interface to CPU frequency control drivers. It combines multiple drivers offering different settings into a single interface of all possible levels. Users can access this interface directly via sysctl(8) or by indicating to /etc/rc.d/power_profile that it should switch settings when the AC line state changes via rc.conf(5).


These settings may be overridden by kernel drivers requesting alternate settings. If this occurs, the original values will be restored once the condition has passed (e.g., the system has cooled sufficiently). If a sysctl cannot be set due to an override condition, it will return EPERM.
Current active CPU frequency in MHz.
Currently available levels for the CPU (frequency/power usage). Values are in units of MHz and milliwatts.
Currently available settings for the driver (frequency/power usage). Values are in units of MHz and milliwatts. This is helpful for understanding which settings are offered by which driver for debugging purposes.
Lowest CPU frequency in MHz to offer to users. This setting is also accessible via a tunable with the same name. This can be used to disable very low levels that may be unusable on some systems.
Print verbose messages. This setting is also accessible via a tunable with the same name.


The following device drivers offer absolute frequency control via the cpufreq interface. Usually, only one of these can be active at a time.

acpi_perf ACPI CPU performance states
est Intel Enhanced SpeedStep
ichss Intel SpeedStep for ICH
powernow AMD PowerNow! for K7 and K8
smist Intel SMI-based SpeedStep for PIIX4

The following device drivers offer relative frequency control and have an additive effect:

acpi_throttle ACPI CPU throttling
p4tcc Pentium 4 Thermal Control Circuitry


Kernel components can query and set CPU frequencies through the cpufreq kernel interface. This involves obtaining a cpufreq device, calling cpufreq_levels to get the currently available frequency levels, checking the current level with cpufreq_get, and setting a new one from the list with cpufreq_set. Each level may actually reference more than one cpufreq driver but kernel components do not need to be aware of this. The total_set element of
.Vt "struct cf_level" provides a summary of the frequency and power for this level. Unknown or irrelevant values are set to CPUFREQ_VAL_UNKNOWN.

The cpufreq_levels method takes a cpufreq device and an empty array of levels. The count value should be set to the number of levels available and after the function completes, will be set to the actual number of levels returned. If there are more levels than count will allow, it should return E2BIG.

The cpufreq_get method takes a pointer to space to store a level. After successful completion, the output will be the current active level and is equal to one of the levels returned by cpufreq_levels.

The cpufreq_set method takes a pointer a level and attempts to activate it. The priority (i.e., CPUFREQ_PRIO_KERN) tells cpufreq whether to override previous settings while activating this level. If priority is higher than the current active level, that level will be saved and overridden with the new level. If a level is already saved, the new level is set without overwriting the older saved level. If cpufreq_set is called with a NULL level, the saved level will be restored. If there is no saved level, cpufreq_set will return ENXIO. If priority is lower than the current active level’s priority, this method returns EPERM.


Kernel drivers offering hardware-specific CPU frequency control export their individual settings through the cpufreq driver interface. This involves implementing these methods: cpufreq_drv_settings, cpufreq_drv_type, cpufreq_drv_set, and cpufreq_drv_get. Additionally, the driver must attach a device as a child of a CPU device so that these methods can be called by the cpufreq framework.

The cpufreq_drv_settings method returns an array of currently available settings, each of type
.Vt "struct cf_setting" . The driver should set unknown or irrelevant values to CPUFREQ_VAL_UNKNOWN. All the following elements for each setting should be returned:
struct cf_setting {
intfreq; /* CPU clock in Mhz or 100ths of a percent. */
intvolts; /* Voltage in mV. */
intpower; /* Power consumed in mW. */
intlat; /* Transition latency in us. */
device_t dev; /* Driver providing this setting. */

On entry to this method, count contains the number of settings that can be returned. On successful completion, the driver sets it to the actual number of settings returned. If the driver offers more settings than count will allow, it should return E2BIG.

The cpufreq_drv_type method indicates the type of settings it offers, either CPUFREQ_TYPE_ABSOLUTE or CPUFREQ_TYPE_RELATIVE. Additionally, the driver may set the CPUFREQ_FLAG_INFO_ONLY flag if the settings it provides are information for other drivers only and cannot be passed to cpufreq_drv_set to activate them.

The cpufreq_drv_set method takes a driver setting and makes it active. If the setting is invalid or not currently available, it should return EINVAL.

The cpufreq_drv_get method returns the currently-active driver setting. The
.Vt "struct cf_setting" returned must be valid for passing to cpufreq_drv_set, including all elements being filled out correctly. If the driver cannot infer the current setting (even by estimating it with cpu_est_clockrate) then it should set all elements to CPUFREQ_VAL_UNKNOWN.


acpi(4), sysctl(8)




Created by Blin Media, 2008-2013