path: root/Documentation/cpu-freq
diff options
authorThomas Renninger <>2009-11-19 12:31:01 +0100
committerDave Jones <>2009-11-24 13:33:34 -0500
commite2f74f355e9e2914483db10c05d70e69e0b7ae04 (patch)
treee17cae217151627c2c95aeeb2a43baf96d49ac91 /Documentation/cpu-freq
parentcf3289d0e701b2f59123bf653c12722a7e32aedb (diff)
[ACPI/CPUFREQ] Introduce bios_limit per cpu cpufreq sysfs interface
This interface is mainly intended (and implemented) for ACPI _PPC BIOS frequency limitations, but other cpufreq drivers can also use it for similar use-cases. Why is this needed: Currently it's not obvious why cpufreq got limited. People see cpufreq/scaling_max_freq reduced, but this could have happened by: - any userspace prog writing to scaling_max_freq - thermal limitations - hardware (_PPC in ACPI case) limitiations Therefore export bios_limit (in kHz) to: - Point the user that it's the BIOS (broken or intended) which limits frequency - Export it as a sysfs interface for userspace progs. While this was a rarely used feature on laptops, there will appear more and more server implemenations providing "Green IT" features like allowing the service processor to limit the frequency. People want to know about HW/BIOS frequency limitations. All ACPI P-state driven cpufreq drivers are covered with this patch: - powernow-k8 - powernow-k7 - acpi-cpufreq Tested with a patched DSDT which limits the first two cores (_PPC returns 1) via _PPC, exposed by bios_limit: # echo 2200000 >cpu2/cpufreq/scaling_max_freq # cat cpu*/cpufreq/scaling_max_freq 2600000 2600000 2200000 2200000 # #scaling_max_freq shows general user/thermal/BIOS limitations # cat cpu*/cpufreq/bios_limit 2600000 2600000 2800000 2800000 # #bios_limit only shows the HW/BIOS limitation CC: Pallipadi Venkatesh <> CC: Len Brown <> CC: CC: Signed-off-by: Thomas Renninger <> Signed-off-by: Dave Jones <>
Diffstat (limited to 'Documentation/cpu-freq')
1 files changed, 11 insertions, 0 deletions
diff --git a/Documentation/cpu-freq/user-guide.txt b/Documentation/cpu-freq/user-guide.txt
index 2a5b850847c0..04f6b32993e6 100644
--- a/Documentation/cpu-freq/user-guide.txt
+++ b/Documentation/cpu-freq/user-guide.txt
@@ -203,6 +203,17 @@ scaling_cur_freq : Current frequency of the CPU as determined by
the frequency the kernel thinks the CPU runs
+bios_limit : If the BIOS tells the OS to limit a CPU to
+ lower frequencies, the user can read out the
+ maximum available frequency from this file.
+ This typically can happen through (often not
+ intended) BIOS settings, restrictions
+ triggered through a service processor or other
+ BIOS/HW based implementations.
+ This does not cover thermal ACPI limitations
+ which can be detected through the generic
+ thermal driver.
If you have selected the "userspace" governor which allows you to
set the CPU operating frequency to a specific value, you can read out
the current frequency in