Documentation / driver-api / firmware / firmware_cache.rst


Based on kernel version 5.9. Page generated on 2020-10-14 09:35 EST.

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Firmware cache
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When Linux resumes from suspend some device drivers require firmware lookups to
re-initialize devices. During resume there may be a period of time during which
firmware lookups are not possible, during this short period of time firmware
requests will fail. Time is of essence though, and delaying drivers to wait for
the root filesystem for firmware delays user experience with device
functionality. In order to support these requirements the firmware
infrastructure implements a firmware cache for device drivers for most API
calls, automatically behind the scenes.

The firmware cache makes using certain firmware API calls safe during a device
driver's suspend and resume callback.  Users of these API calls needn't cache
the firmware by themselves for dealing with firmware loss during system resume.

The firmware cache works by requesting for firmware prior to suspend and
caching it in memory. Upon resume device drivers using the firmware API will
have access to the firmware immediately, without having to wait for the root
filesystem to mount or dealing with possible race issues with lookups as the
root filesystem mounts.

Some implementation details about the firmware cache setup:

* The firmware cache is setup by adding a devres entry for each device that
  uses all synchronous call except :c:func:`request_firmware_into_buf`.

* If an asynchronous call is used the firmware cache is only set up for a
  device if the second argument (uevent) to request_firmware_nowait() is
  true. When uevent is true it requests that a kobject uevent be sent to
  userspace for the firmware request through the sysfs fallback mechanism
  if the firmware file is not found.

* If the firmware cache is determined to be needed as per the above two
  criteria the firmware cache is setup by adding a devres entry for the
  device making the firmware request.

* The firmware devres entry is maintained throughout the lifetime of the
  device. This means that even if you release_firmware() the firmware cache
  will still be used on resume from suspend.

* The timeout for the fallback mechanism is temporarily reduced to 10 seconds
  as the firmware cache is set up during suspend, the timeout is set back to
  the old value you had configured after the cache is set up.

* Upon suspend any pending non-uevent firmware requests are killed to avoid
  stalling the kernel, this is done with kill_requests_without_uevent(). Kernel
  calls requiring the non-uevent therefore need to implement their own firmware
  cache mechanism but must not use the firmware API on suspend.