Chapter 27. Clock Framework

Table of Contents

clk_get — lookup and obtain a reference to a clock producer.
clk_enable — inform the system when the clock source should be running.
clk_disable — inform the system when the clock source is no longer required.
clk_get_rate — obtain the current clock rate (in Hz) for a clock source.
clk_put — "free" the clock source
clk_round_rate — adjust a rate to the exact rate a clock can provide
clk_set_rate — set the clock rate for a clock source
clk_set_parent — set the parent clock source for this clock
clk_get_parent — get the parent clock source for this clock

The clock framework defines programming interfaces to support software management of the system clock tree. This framework is widely used with System-On-Chip (SOC) platforms to support power management and various devices which may need custom clock rates. Note that these "clocks" don't relate to timekeeping or real time clocks (RTCs), each of which have separate frameworks. These struct clk instances may be used to manage for example a 96 MHz signal that is used to shift bits into and out of peripherals or busses, or otherwise trigger synchronous state machine transitions in system hardware.

Power management is supported by explicit software clock gating: unused clocks are disabled, so the system doesn't waste power changing the state of transistors that aren't in active use. On some systems this may be backed by hardware clock gating, where clocks are gated without being disabled in software. Sections of chips that are powered but not clocked may be able to retain their last state. This low power state is often called a retention mode. This mode still incurs leakage currents, especially with finer circuit geometries, but for CMOS circuits power is mostly used by clocked state changes.

Power-aware drivers only enable their clocks when the device they manage is in active use. Also, system sleep states often differ according to which clock domains are active: while a "standby" state may allow wakeup from several active domains, a "mem" (suspend-to-RAM) state may require a more wholesale shutdown of clocks derived from higher speed PLLs and oscillators, limiting the number of possible wakeup event sources. A driver's suspend method may need to be aware of system-specific clock constraints on the target sleep state.

Some platforms support programmable clock generators. These can be used by external chips of various kinds, such as other CPUs, multimedia codecs, and devices with strict requirements for interface clocking.