Transmit and receive queues


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NetAdapterCx is preview only in Windows 10, version 1809.

Packet queues, or datapath queues are objects introduced in NetAdapterCx to enable client drivers to model their hardware features, such as hardware transmit and receive queues, more explicitly in software drivers. This topic explains how to work with transmit and receive queues in NetAdapterCx.

Creating transmit and receive queues

When your client driver calls NET_ADAPTER_DATAPATH_CALLBACKS_INIT, typically from its EVT_WDF_DRIVER_DEVICE_ADD event callback function, it provides two queue creation callbacks: EVT_NET_ADAPTER_CREATE_TXQUEUE and EVT_NET_ADAPTER_CREATE_RXQUEUE. The client creates transmit and receive queues in these callbacks respectively.

For example, the client creates a transmit queue by calling NetTxQueueCreate as follows:

    NETADAPTER Adapter, 

    // Allocate and initialize the tx queue configuration structure

    // Optional: set the tx queue's start and stop callbacks
    txQueueConfig.EvtStart = EvtTxQueueStart;
    txQueueConfig.EvtStop = EvtTxQueueStop;

    // Assign fixed size data type as per packet context

    // Create the queue
    NTSTATUS status = NetTxQueueCreate(NetTxQueueInit,

    return status;

To create a receive queue from EVT_NET_ADAPTER_CREATE_RXQUEUE, use the same pattern to call NetRxQueueCreate. For an example, see EVT_NET_ADAPTER_CREATE_RXQUEUE.

The framework empties queues before transitioning to a low power state and deletes them before deleting the adapter.

Implementing queue callbacks

When creating a packet queue, either a transmit queue or a receive queue, the client must provide pointers to the following three callback functions:

In addition, the client can provide these optional callback functions after initializing the queue configuration structure:

See each of these pages for details on what the client needs to do in each event callback function.

Polling model

The NetAdapter data path is a polling model, and the polling operation on one packet queue is completely independent of other queues. The polling model is implemented by calling the client driver's queue advance callbacks, as shown in the following figure:

Polling Flow

For code examples, see EVT_PACKET_QUEUE_ADVANCE.

The sequence of a polling operation is as follows:

  1. The OS gives buffers to the client driver for either transmitting or receiving.
  2. The client driver programs the packets to hardware.
  3. The client driver returns the completed packets to the OS.