Dynamic Audio Power Management for Portable Devices


Dynamic Audio Power Management (DAPM) is designed to allow portable Linux devices to use the minimum amount of power within the audio subsystem at all times. It is independent of other kernel power management frameworks and, as such, can easily co-exist with them.

DAPM is also completely transparent to all user space applications as all power switching is done within the ASoC core. No code changes or recompiling are required for user space applications. DAPM makes power switching decisions based upon any audio stream (capture/playback) activity and audio mixer settings within the device.

DAPM is based on two basic elements, called widgets and routes:

  • a widget is every part of the audio hardware that can be enabled by software when in use and disabled to save power when not in use

  • a route is an interconnection between widgets that exists when sound can flow from one widget to the other

All DAPM power switching decisions are made automatically by consulting an audio routing graph. This graph is specific to each sound card and spans the whole sound card, so some DAPM routes connect two widgets belonging to different components (e.g. the LINE OUT pin of a CODEC and the input pin of an amplifier).

The graph for the STM32MP1-DK1 sound card is shown in picture:

Example DAPM graph

DAPM power domains

There are 4 power domains within DAPM:

Codec bias domain

VREF, VMID (core codec and audio power)

Usually controlled at codec probe/remove and suspend/resume, although can be set at stream time if power is not needed for sidetone, etc.

Platform/Machine domain

physically connected inputs and outputs

Is platform/machine and user action specific, is configured by the machine driver and responds to asynchronous events e.g when HP are inserted

Path domain

audio subsystem signal paths

Automatically set when mixer and mux settings are changed by the user. e.g. alsamixer, amixer.

Stream domain

DACs and ADCs.

Enabled and disabled when stream playback/capture is started and stopped respectively. e.g. aplay, arecord.

DAPM Widgets

Audio DAPM widgets fall into a number of types:


Mixes several analog signals into a single analog signal.


An analog switch that outputs only one of many inputs.


A programmable gain amplifier or attenuation widget.


Analog to Digital Converter


Digital to Analog Converter


An analog switch


A codec input pin


A codec output pin


Headphone (and optional Jack)


Mic (and optional Jack)


Line Input/Output (and optional Jack)




Power or clock supply widget used by other widgets.


External regulator that supplies power to audio components.


External clock that supplies clock to audio components.


Audio Interface Input (with TDM slot mask).


Audio Interface Output (with TDM slot mask).


Signal Generator.


Digital Audio Interface Input.


Digital Audio Interface Output.

DAI Link

DAI Link between two DAI structures


Special PRE widget (exec before all others)


Special POST widget (exec after all others)


Inter widget audio data buffer within a DSP.


DSP internal scheduler that schedules component/pipeline processing work.


Widget that performs an audio processing effect.


Sample Rate Converter within DSP or CODEC


Asynchronous Sample Rate Converter within DSP or CODEC


Widget that encodes audio data from one format (usually PCM) to another usually more compressed format.


Widget that decodes audio data from a compressed format to an uncompressed format like PCM.

(Widgets are defined in include/sound/soc-dapm.h)

Widgets can be added to the sound card by any of the component driver types. There are convenience macros defined in soc-dapm.h that can be used to quickly build a list of widgets of the codecs and machines DAPM widgets.

Most widgets have a name, register, shift and invert. Some widgets have extra parameters for stream name and kcontrols.

Stream Domain Widgets

Stream Widgets relate to the stream power domain and only consist of ADCs (analog to digital converters), DACs (digital to analog converters), AIF IN and AIF OUT.

Stream widgets have the following format:

SND_SOC_DAPM_DAC(name, stream name, reg, shift, invert),
SND_SOC_DAPM_AIF_IN(name, stream, slot, reg, shift, invert)

NOTE: the stream name must match the corresponding stream name in your codec snd_soc_dai_driver.

e.g. stream widgets for HiFi playback and capture

SND_SOC_DAPM_DAC("HiFi DAC", "HiFi Playback", REG, 3, 1),
SND_SOC_DAPM_ADC("HiFi ADC", "HiFi Capture", REG, 2, 1),

e.g. stream widgets for AIF

SND_SOC_DAPM_AIF_IN("AIF1RX", "AIF1 Playback", 0, SND_SOC_NOPM, 0, 0),
SND_SOC_DAPM_AIF_OUT("AIF1TX", "AIF1 Capture", 0, SND_SOC_NOPM, 0, 0),

Path Domain Widgets

Path domain widgets have a ability to control or affect the audio signal or audio paths within the audio subsystem. They have the following form:

SND_SOC_DAPM_PGA(name, reg, shift, invert, controls, num_controls)

Any widget kcontrols can be set using the controls and num_controls members.

e.g. Mixer widget (the kcontrols are declared first)

/* Output Mixer */
static const snd_kcontrol_new_t wm8731_output_mixer_controls[] = {
SOC_DAPM_SINGLE("Line Bypass Switch", WM8731_APANA, 3, 1, 0),
SOC_DAPM_SINGLE("Mic Sidetone Switch", WM8731_APANA, 5, 1, 0),
SOC_DAPM_SINGLE("HiFi Playback Switch", WM8731_APANA, 4, 1, 0),

SND_SOC_DAPM_MIXER("Output Mixer", WM8731_PWR, 4, 1, wm8731_output_mixer_controls,

If you don’t want the mixer elements prefixed with the name of the mixer widget, you can use SND_SOC_DAPM_MIXER_NAMED_CTL instead. the parameters are the same as for SND_SOC_DAPM_MIXER.

Machine domain Widgets

Machine widgets are different from codec widgets in that they don’t have a codec register bit associated with them. A machine widget is assigned to each machine audio component (non codec or DSP) that can be independently powered. e.g.

  • Speaker Amp

  • Microphone Bias

  • Jack connectors

A machine widget can have an optional call back.

e.g. Jack connector widget for an external Mic that enables Mic Bias when the Mic is inserted:

static int spitz_mic_bias(struct snd_soc_dapm_widget* w, int event)
      gpio_set_value(SPITZ_GPIO_MIC_BIAS, SND_SOC_DAPM_EVENT_ON(event));
      return 0;

SND_SOC_DAPM_MIC("Mic Jack", spitz_mic_bias),

Codec (BIAS) Domain

The codec bias power domain has no widgets and is handled by the codec DAPM event handler. This handler is called when the codec powerstate is changed wrt to any stream event or by kernel PM events.

Virtual Widgets

Sometimes widgets exist in the codec or machine audio graph that don’t have any corresponding soft power control. In this case it is necessary to create a virtual widget - a widget with no control bits e.g.


This can be used to merge two signal paths together in software.

Registering DAPM controls

In many cases the DAPM widgets are implemented statically in a static const struct snd_soc_dapm_widget array in a codec driver, and simply declared via the dapm_widgets and num_dapm_widgets fields of the struct snd_soc_component_driver.

Similarly, routes connecting them are implemented statically in a static const struct snd_soc_dapm_route array and declared via the dapm_routes and num_dapm_routes fields of the same struct.

With the above declared, the driver registration will take care of populating them:

static const struct snd_soc_dapm_widget wm2000_dapm_widgets[] = {

/* Target, Path, Source */
static const struct snd_soc_dapm_route wm2000_audio_map[] = {
      { "SPKN", NULL, "ANC Engine" },
      { "SPKP", NULL, "ANC Engine" },

static const struct snd_soc_component_driver soc_component_dev_wm2000 = {
      .dapm_widgets           = wm2000_dapm_widgets,
      .num_dapm_widgets       = ARRAY_SIZE(wm2000_dapm_widgets),
      .dapm_routes            = wm2000_audio_map,
      .num_dapm_routes        = ARRAY_SIZE(wm2000_audio_map),

In more complex cases the list of DAPM widgets and/or routes can be only known at probe time. This happens for example when a driver supports different models having a different set of features. In those cases separate widgets and routes arrays implementing the case-specific features can be registered programmatically by calling snd_soc_dapm_new_controls() and snd_soc_dapm_add_routes().

Codec/DSP Widget Interconnections

Widgets are connected to each other within the codec, platform and machine by audio paths (called interconnections). Each interconnection must be defined in order to create a graph of all audio paths between widgets.

This is easiest with a diagram of the codec or DSP (and schematic of the machine audio system), as it requires joining widgets together via their audio signal paths.

For example the WM8731 output mixer (wm8731.c) has 3 inputs (sources):

  1. Line Bypass Input

  2. DAC (HiFi playback)

  3. Mic Sidetone Input

Each input in this example has a kcontrol associated with it (defined in the example above) and is connected to the output mixer via its kcontrol name. We can now connect the destination widget (wrt audio signal) with its source widgets.

/* output mixer */
{"Output Mixer", "Line Bypass Switch", "Line Input"},
{"Output Mixer", "HiFi Playback Switch", "DAC"},
{"Output Mixer", "Mic Sidetone Switch", "Mic Bias"},

So we have:

  • Destination Widget <=== Path Name <=== Source Widget, or

  • Sink, Path, Source, or

  • Output Mixer is connected to the DAC via the HiFi Playback Switch.

When there is no path name connecting widgets (e.g. a direct connection) we pass NULL for the path name.

Interconnections are created with a call to:

snd_soc_dapm_connect_input(codec, sink, path, source);

Finally, snd_soc_dapm_new_widgets() must be called after all widgets and interconnections have been registered with the core. This causes the core to scan the codec and machine so that the internal DAPM state matches the physical state of the machine.

Machine Widget Interconnections

Machine widget interconnections are created in the same way as codec ones and directly connect the codec pins to machine level widgets.

e.g. connects the speaker out codec pins to the internal speaker.

/* ext speaker connected to codec pins LOUT2, ROUT2  */
{"Ext Spk", NULL , "ROUT2"},
{"Ext Spk", NULL , "LOUT2"},

This allows the DAPM to power on and off pins that are connected (and in use) and pins that are NC respectively.

Endpoint Widgets

An endpoint is a start or end point (widget) of an audio signal within the machine and includes the codec. e.g.

  • Headphone Jack

  • Internal Speaker

  • Internal Mic

  • Mic Jack

  • Codec Pins

Endpoints are added to the DAPM graph so that their usage can be determined in order to save power. e.g. NC codecs pins will be switched OFF, unconnected jacks can also be switched OFF.

DAPM Widget Events

Widgets needing to implement a more complex behaviour than what DAPM can do can set a custom “event handler” by setting a function pointer. An example is a power supply needing to enable a GPIO:

static int sof_es8316_speaker_power_event(struct snd_soc_dapm_widget *w,
                                        struct snd_kcontrol *kcontrol, int event)
      if (SND_SOC_DAPM_EVENT_ON(event))
              gpiod_set_value_cansleep(gpio_pa, true);
              gpiod_set_value_cansleep(gpio_pa, false);

      return 0;

static const struct snd_soc_dapm_widget st_widgets[] = {
      SND_SOC_DAPM_SUPPLY("Speaker Power", SND_SOC_NOPM, 0, 0,
                          SND_SOC_DAPM_PRE_PMD | SND_SOC_DAPM_POST_PMU),

See soc-dapm.h for all other widgets that support events.

Event types

The following event types are supported by event widgets:

/* dapm event types */
#define SND_SOC_DAPM_PRE_PMU          0x1     /* before widget power up */
#define SND_SOC_DAPM_POST_PMU         0x2     /* after  widget power up */
#define SND_SOC_DAPM_PRE_PMD          0x4     /* before widget power down */
#define SND_SOC_DAPM_POST_PMD         0x8     /* after  widget power down */
#define SND_SOC_DAPM_PRE_REG          0x10    /* before audio path setup */
#define SND_SOC_DAPM_POST_REG         0x20    /* after  audio path setup */
#define SND_SOC_DAPM_WILL_PMU         0x40    /* called at start of sequence */
#define SND_SOC_DAPM_WILL_PMD         0x80    /* called at start of sequence */