ACPIEC(4) BSD Kernel Interfaces Manual ACPIEC(4)
acpiec -- ACPI Embedded Controller
acpiec* at acpi?
acpiecdt* at acpi?
The acpiec driver supports ACPI Embedded Controllers.
An ACPI Embedded Controller (EC) is typically a small microprocessor that is responsible for
various tasks related to ACPI. The primary task is to handle ACPI specific interrupts,
which are mapped to so-called ACPI General Purpose Events (GPEs). Other possible functions
include embedded access to other buses such as the iic(4).
The ACPI specific events range from user initiated events to events triggered by the hard-
ware. When such an event occurs, typically either a System Management Interrupt (SMI) or a
System Control Interrupt (SCI) is raised. The latter is an active, visible, shareable,
level interrupt. On most Intel chipsets SCI is hardwired to the interrupt number 9. The
main task of an EC is to raise a system control interrupt.
All GPEs generate SCIs. A typical example of the internal wiring of GPEs could involve
gpio(4): when, e.g., the AC adapter is connected, a certain GPIO line becomes active, a
given GPE is flagged, and a SCI interrupt is raised by the EC, leading to execution of ACPI
machine code in order to locate the handler associated with the event. A corresponding
driver, acpiacad(4) in this case, will finally finish the processing of the event.
Due to the reasons described above, majority of ACPI specific drivers are dysfunctional
without acpiec. It is therefore recommended that acpiec is always enabled, even though it
may not be required on some older systems.
The acpiec driver appeared in NetBSD 1.6.
Many machines depend on early attachment of acpiec. In such cases the information required
by acpiec should be available as a separate and optional Embedded Controller Descriptor Ta-
ble (ECDT). If an ECDT is not available or early attachment can not be carried out due
other reasons, the initialization of the whole acpi(4) subsystem may be problematic.
BSD February 27, 2010 BSD