Bus-Master DMA in Video Miniport Drivers

Beginning with Windows XP, the operating system graphics interface supports DMA on PCI bus-master devices. Video miniport drivers of PCI bus-master devices can implement the following types of DMA support using helper functions supplied by the video port driver:

  • Packet-based DMA

    In packet-based DMA, data is transferred directly between the requester's space and the device. Since the requester's space might not be contiguous, packet-based DMA is more efficient on those devices with hardware scatter/gather support. Packet-based DMA is an ideal choice for moving large amounts of arbitrary data between user space and the device.

  • Common-buffer DMA

    In common-buffer DMA, a buffer is shared between (hence, common to), and used by both the host and the device for repeated DMA operations. Some drivers use common-buffer DMA to upload driver-manipulated data, such as a series of commands, to the graphics engine. The common buffer is contiguous and is always accessible to both the device and the host CPU.

    The common buffer is a precious system resource. For better overall driver and system performance, drivers should use common-buffer DMA as economically as possible.

Depending on the nature of the bus-master adapter, some miniport drivers use packet-based DMA exclusively, others use common-buffer DMA exclusively, and some use both.

Regardless of which type of DMA is used, the miniport driver should call VideoPortGetDmaAdapter to get a pointer to the VP_DMA_ADAPTER structure and use it for subsequent DMA functions calls. When there is no longer any need for continued DMA operations, the miniport driver should call VideoPortPutDmaAdapter to discard the adapter object.

The following subsections describe how to use the packet-based and common-buffer DMA support supplied by the video port driver.

Packet-Based Bus-Master DMA

Common-Buffer Bus-Master DMA

Points to Consider When Using DMA



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