Documentation / driver-api / regulator.rst

Based on kernel version 5.8. Page generated on 2020-08-08 17:40 EST.

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.. Copyright 2007-2008 Wolfson Microelectronics

..   This documentation is free software; you can redistribute
..   it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public
..   License version 2 as published by the Free Software Foundation.

Voltage and current regulator API

:Author: Liam Girdwood
:Author: Mark Brown


This framework is designed to provide a standard kernel interface to
control voltage and current regulators.

The intention is to allow systems to dynamically control regulator power
output in order to save power and prolong battery life. This applies to
both voltage regulators (where voltage output is controllable) and
current sinks (where current limit is controllable).

Note that additional (and currently more complete) documentation is
available in the Linux kernel source under


The regulator API uses a number of terms which may not be familiar:


    Electronic device that supplies power to other devices. Most regulators
    can enable and disable their output and some can also control their
    output voltage or current.


    Electronic device which consumes power provided by a regulator. These
    may either be static, requiring only a fixed supply, or dynamic,
    requiring active management of the regulator at runtime.

Power Domain

    The electronic circuit supplied by a given regulator, including the
    regulator and all consumer devices. The configuration of the regulator
    is shared between all the components in the circuit.

Power Management Integrated Circuit (PMIC)

    An IC which contains numerous regulators and often also other
    subsystems. In an embedded system the primary PMIC is often equivalent
    to a combination of the PSU and southbridge in a desktop system.

Consumer driver interface

This offers a similar API to the kernel clock framework. Consumer
drivers use `get <#API-regulator-get>`__ and
`put <#API-regulator-put>`__ operations to acquire and release
regulators. Functions are provided to `enable <#API-regulator-enable>`__
and `disable <#API-regulator-disable>`__ the regulator and to get and
set the runtime parameters of the regulator.

When requesting regulators consumers use symbolic names for their
supplies, such as "Vcc", which are mapped into actual regulator devices
by the machine interface.

A stub version of this API is provided when the regulator framework is
not in use in order to minimise the need to use ifdefs.

Enabling and disabling

The regulator API provides reference counted enabling and disabling of
regulators. Consumer devices use the :c:func:`regulator_enable()` and
:c:func:`regulator_disable()` functions to enable and disable
regulators. Calls to the two functions must be balanced.

Note that since multiple consumers may be using a regulator and machine
constraints may not allow the regulator to be disabled there is no
guarantee that calling :c:func:`regulator_disable()` will actually
cause the supply provided by the regulator to be disabled. Consumer
drivers should assume that the regulator may be enabled at all times.


Some consumer devices may need to be able to dynamically configure their
supplies. For example, MMC drivers may need to select the correct
operating voltage for their cards. This may be done while the regulator
is enabled or disabled.

The :c:func:`regulator_set_voltage()` and
:c:func:`regulator_set_current_limit()` functions provide the primary
interface for this. Both take ranges of voltages and currents, supporting
drivers that do not require a specific value (eg, CPU frequency scaling
normally permits the CPU to use a wider range of supply voltages at lower
frequencies but does not require that the supply voltage be lowered). Where
an exact value is required both minimum and maximum values should be


Callbacks may also be registered for events such as regulation failures.

Regulator driver interface

Drivers for regulator chips register the regulators with the regulator
core, providing operations structures to the core. A notifier interface
allows error conditions to be reported to the core.

Registration should be triggered by explicit setup done by the platform,
supplying a struct :c:type:`regulator_init_data` for the regulator
containing constraint and supply information.

Machine interface

This interface provides a way to define how regulators are connected to
consumers on a given system and what the valid operating parameters are
for the system.


Regulator supplies are specified using struct
:c:type:`regulator_consumer_supply`. This is done at driver registration
time as part of the machine constraints.


As well as defining the connections the machine interface also provides
constraints defining the operations that clients are allowed to perform
and the parameters that may be set. This is required since generally
regulator devices will offer more flexibility than it is safe to use on
a given system, for example supporting higher supply voltages than the
consumers are rated for.

This is done at driver registration time` by providing a
struct :c:type:`regulation_constraints`.

The constraints may also specify an initial configuration for the
regulator in the constraints, which is particularly useful for use with
static consumers.

API reference

Due to limitations of the kernel documentation framework and the
existing layout of the source code the entire regulator API is
documented here.

.. kernel-doc:: include/linux/regulator/consumer.h

.. kernel-doc:: include/linux/regulator/machine.h

.. kernel-doc:: include/linux/regulator/driver.h

.. kernel-doc:: drivers/regulator/core.c