Short-Lived ASUS Sensors Linux Driver Being Removed In Favor Of Better Alternative

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 30 August 2022 at 06:15 AM EDT. 12 Comments
HARDWARE --
Mainlined to the Linux kernel less than one year ago was the "asus_wmi_ec_sensors" for supporting temperature / fan speed / CPU current sensor reading on a variety of newer ASUS motherboards. That driver is now being removed as a superior driver is taking over the ASUS motherboard sensor reading duties.

Introduced shortly after that asus_wmi_ec_sensors driver -- literally weeks later -- was ASUS_EC_Sensors as a more flexible and faster driver for sensor reading on the same motherboards (and more newer motherboards) and same sensors. Rather than querying the WMI interface on the motherboards, the ASUS_EC_Sensors driver code reads from the embedded controller directly, which makes it much faster. ASUS also ended up deprecating the WMI interface on its newest motherboards.

So in very little time the ASUS EC Sensors driver proved to be more robust than the asus_wmi_ec_sensors driver while being more forward-compatible and faster at the thermal / power / fan speed sensor reading on ASUS Intel and AMD motherboards. Thus now in having proved itself, it's time for the older driver to be removed from the Linux kernel.


The open-source community continues working to improve the sensor coverage on ASUS motherboards as well as those from other vendors. Neither of the drivers in this article were maintained by ASUS engineers.


This hwmon-next change ahead of the Linux 6.1 merge window opening up in just over one month kills off that older ASUS driver.
This driver utilises a WMI interface found in AMD 500 series ASUS boards, to read EC registers. But it turned out that ASUS abandoned the interface, as it disappeared from Intel 600 series boards. Additionally, the WMI interface was incredibly slow. Therefore this driver was deprecated in favor of the asus_ec_sensors driver, which supports more boards, more sensors, and is faster.

Removing this deprecated driver lightens the kernel by nearly 700 lines of code. The list of currently supported motherboards by the modern ASUS EC Sensors driver currently includes:
* PRIME X470-PRO
* PRIME X570-PRO
* Pro WS X570-ACE
* ProArt X570-CREATOR WIFI
* ROG CROSSHAIR VIII DARK HERO
* ROG CROSSHAIR VIII HERO (WI-FI)
* ROG CROSSHAIR VIII FORMULA
* ROG CROSSHAIR VIII HERO
* ROG CROSSHAIR VIII IMPACT
* ROG MAXIMUS XI HERO
* ROG MAXIMUS XI HERO (WI-FI)
* ROG STRIX B550-E GAMING
* ROG STRIX B550-I GAMING
* ROG STRIX X570-E GAMING
* ROG STRIX X570-E GAMING WIFI II
* ROG STRIX X570-F GAMING
* ROG STRIX X570-I GAMING
* ROG STRIX Z690-A GAMING WIFI D4
* ROG ZENITH II EXTREME
More details on the modern driver via this documentation.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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