Network Drivers (Windows CE 5.0)

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The Network Driver Interface Specification (NDIS) facilitates communication between the Windows CE operating system (OS) and network adapter and protocol drivers. NDIS provides a fully abstracted interface for network-adapter driver development. The Windows CE-based communications architecture provides support for NDIS 5.1 as well as technologies such as Remote NDIS (RNDIS), NDISWAN, Token Ring, improved adapter binding, a layered miniport structure, and an enhanced testing application.

NDIS also provides a pair of abstraction layers that connect network drivers to an overlying protocol stack, such as TCP/IP or Infrared Data Association (IrDA) and an underlying network adapter. NDIS performs a set of external functions for network adapter drivers, such as registering and intercepting hardware interrupts and communicating with underlying network adapters.

The NDIS library (Ndis.dll) provides a fully abstracted interface to which you can write a customized network adapter driver. The library exports all of the Windows CE-based kernel-mode functions that are required for driver development. The Ndis.dll file also maintains binding and state information about all of the underlying network adapter drivers. NDIS supports the following network drivers:

  • A network adapter driver that receives a network packet from an upper-layer driver for transmission on the network through an underlying network adapter
  • A network adapter driver that accepts a network packet from an underlying network adapter and passes the packet up to an upper-layer driver
  • An upper-layer driver that sets specific configuration parameters for a network adapter or a network adapter driver
  • An upper-layer driver that queries a network adapter driver for specific configuration data from an underlying network adapter or from the network adapter driver
  • A network adapter driver that informs an overlying driver asynchronously of changes in the status of the network or of the network adapter

The NDIS interface is located between an upper-level protocol driver — such as the TCP/IP protocol driver — on the top of the communications architecture, the intermediate and miniport drivers in the middle of the communications architecture, and a network adapter at the bottom of the communications architecture. Because NDIS provides an interface to the upper and lower edges of a miniport driver, the NDIS interface often is referred to as the NDIS wrapper. The NDIS wrapper provides the operating environment for drivers that use NDIS. The functionality associated with the NDIS wrapper is located in the Ndis.dll file.

In This Section

  • Power Management
    Describes the power management capabilities provided by the Windows CE OS.

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