What's new in driver development

This section provides information about the new features and updates to Windows driver development in Windows 10.

The following is a list of new feature highlights for driver development in Windows 10.

The following table shows the feature updates in Windows 10, by driver technology and version.

Driver version 1709 version 1703 version 1607 version 1507
Audio details details details not available
ACPI details not available not available not available
Biometric details not available not available not available
Bluetooth not available details not available details
Buses and Ports not available not available not available details
Camera not available details details details
Cellular not available not available not available details
Display details not available not available details
Hardware notifications details not available not available not available
Human Interface Device (HID) not available not available not available details
Location not available not available details details
Near Field Communication not available not available not available details
Networking details details not available details
POS not available details not available not available
PCI details not available not available not available
Print not available not available details details
Pulse Width Modulation details not available not available not available
Smart Card not available not available not available details
Storage details not available not available details
System-Supplied Driver Interfaces not available not available not available details
USB details details not available details
WLAN not available not available details details

What's new in driver development for Windows 10

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This section provides highlights of new features for driver development in Windows 10.

Open publishing

We're making the docs more community-driven. On many pages of the Windows driver documentation, you can suggest changes directly. Look for the Contribute button in the upper right corner of a page. It looks like this:

screenshot of contribute button

When you click Contribute, you'll arrive at the Markdown source file for that topic in a GitHub repository. You can click Edit and suggest changes right here.

For more details, see CONTRIBUTING.md in the repo. And thanks for taking the time to improve the docs!

Debugging Tools for Windows

This section describes the changes in the debugging tools for Windows.

Debugging in Windows 10, version 1709

The following is a list of new content sets for the Debugger in Windows 10, version 1709:

Debugging in Windows 10, version 1703

The following table shows changes for the Debugger in Windows 10, version 1703:

New topics Updated topics
JavaScript Debugger Scripting dtx (Display Type - Extended Debugger Object Model Information) command
40 undocumented stop codes in the Bug Check Code Reference Updates to the Configuring tools.ini topic with additional options in the tools.ini file for the command line debuggers
!ioctldecode command New command capabilities in the dx (Display Debugger Object Model Extension) command

Debugging in Windows 10, version 1607

In Windows 10, version 1607, changes to the Debugger include a new topic about Debugging a UWP app using WinDbg, and updates to the 30 most-viewed developer bug check topics in Bug Check Code Reference.

Debugging in Windows 10, version 1507

The following is a list of new commands for the Windows Debugger in Windows 10, version 1507:

  • dx (Display NatVis Expression) - A new debugger command which displays object information using the NatVis extension model.
  • .settings - A new command that sets, modifies, displays, loads and saves settings in the Debugger.Settings namespace.

Driver Verifier

Driver verifier includes new driver validation rules for the following technologies:

Windows Driver Frameworks (WDF)

WDF in Windows 10, version 1709

In Windows 10, version 1709, the Windows Driver Framework (WDF) includes Kernel-Mode Driver Framework (KMDF) version 1.23 and User-Mode Driver Framework version 2.23. For infor on what's included in these framework versions, see What's New for WDF Drivers in Windows 10.

WDF in Windows 10, version 1607

In Windows 10, version 1607, the WDF includes Kernel-Mode Driver Framework (KMDF) version 1.19 and User-Mode Driver Framework (UMDF) version 2.19. For info on what's included in these framework versions, see What's New for WDF Drivers in Windows 10.

Universal Windows drivers

This section describes new and updated features for Universal Windows drivers in Windows 10.

Universal Drivers in Windows 10, version 1709

The following is a list of new features to Universal Drivers in Windows 10, version 1709:

  • Updating Device Firmware using Windows Update - Describes how to update a removable or in-chassis device's firmware by using the Windows Update (WU) service.
  • Reg2inf - The Driver Package INF Registry Conversion Tool (reg2inf.exe) converts a registry key and its values or a COM .dll implementing a DLL RegisterServer routine, into a set of INF AddReg directives. These directives are included in the driver package INF file.

The following is a list of updates to Universal Drivers in Windows 10, version 1709:

Universal Drivers in Windows 10

Starting in Windows 10, you can write a single driver that works on OneCoreUAP-based editions of Windows, such as Windows 10 for desktop editions (Home, Pro, Enterprise, and Education), Windows 10 Mobile, and Windows 10 IoT Core (IoT Core). Such a driver is called a Universal Windows driver. A Universal Windows driver calls a subset of the interfaces that are available to a Windows driver. For information about how to build, install, deploy, and debug a Universal Windows driver for Windows 10, see Getting Started with Universal Windows drivers.

When you build a Universal Windows driver using Microsoft Visual Studio 2015, Visual Studio automatically checks if the APIs that your driver calls are valid for a Universal Windows driver. You can also use the ApiValidator.exe as a standalone tool to perform this task. The ApiValidator.exe tool is part of the Windows Driver Kit (WDK) for Windows 10. For info, see Validating Universal Windows drivers.

Universal Windows drivers also require a special kind of INF file called a universal INF. A universal INF can use a subset of the directives and sections available to a legacy INF file. To learn more, see Using a Universal INF File. To see which sections and directives apply, see INF File Sections and Directives.

When you're ready, use the InfVerif tool to test your driver's INF file. In addition to reporting INF syntax problems, the tool reports if the INF file will work with a Universal Windows driver.

You can also find information about which APIs you can call from a Universal Windows driver. This information is located in the Requirements block at the bottom of MSDN reference pages.

For example, you'll see a listing similar to this one that tells you if a given DDI is Universal.

target platform set to universal in requirements block

For more info, see Target platform on MSDN driver reference pages.

Windows compatible hardware development boards

Windows is now supported on more affordable boards such as the Raspberry Pi 2. Become a part of our early adopter community and load Windows on that board. For more information, see Windows compatible hardware development boards.

Power Management Framework (PoFx)

The power management framework (PoFx) enables a driver to define one or more sets of individually adjustable performance states for individual components within a device. The driver can use performance states to throttle a component's workload to provide just enough performance for its current needs. For more information, see Component-Level Performance State Management.

WPP Software Tracing

WPP Software Tracing introduces a new feature: Inflight Trace Recorder. If the driver enables WPP tracing and WPP Recorder, trace logging is turned on automatically and you can easily view messages without starting or stopping trace sessions. For more fine tuned control over the log, WPP Recorder allows a KMDF driver to create and manage custom buffers.

Windows Kernel

This section describes new and updated features for Windows Kernel for drivers in Windows 10.

Windows Kernel for drivers in Windows 10, version 1703

Windows Kernel-Mode Process and Thread Manager - Starting in Windows 10 version 1703, the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) enables a user to run native Linux ELF64 binaries on Windows, alongside other Windows applications. For more information about WSL architecture and the user-mode and kernel-mode components that are required to run the binaries, see the posts on the Windows Subsystem for Linux blog.

Windows Kernel for drivers in Windows 10, version 1709

In Windows 10, version 1709, several new routines to the Windows Kernel for drivers have been added.

What's new in Windows 10, version 1709 (latest)

This section describes new features and updates for driver development in Windows 10, version 1709.

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Audio

The following is a list of updates to Windows Audio driver development in Windows 10, version 1709:

  • New Configure and query audio device modules
  • Extensive updates to voice activation
    • More details on chained and keyword only activation
    • A new glossary of terms
    • Additional information on training and recognition, such as pin and audio format information
    • An updated keyword system overview
    • Updated information on wake on voice

ACPI

The following is a list of new Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) DDIs to support input/output buffers.

Biometric

There are new signing requirements for Windows Biometric Drivers. For more information, see Signing WBDI Drivers.

Display

The following is a list of new features for Windows Display driver development in Windows 10, version 1709.

  • Display ColorSpace Transform DDIs provide additional control over color space transforms applied in the post-composition display pipeline.
  • The D3D12 Copy Queue Timestamp Queries feature will allow applications to issue timestamp queries on COPY command lists/queues. These timestamps are specified to function identically to timestamps on other engines.
  • Enhanced Video integration into Direct3D12 Runtime through:
    1. Hardware accelerated video decoding
    2. Content protection
    3. Video processing

Hardware notifications

In Windows 10, version 1709, there is support for hardware-agnostic support of notification components such as LEDs and vibration mechanisms. For more information, see:

Networking

This section outlines new features and improvements for Windows Networking driver development in Windows 10, version 1709.

NDIS

The following is a list of new and updated features for NDIS:

Mobile Broadband

The following is a list of new features for Windows Mobile Broadband driver development in Windows 10, version 1709:

Mobile Operator Scenarios

In Windows 10, version 1709, the desktop COSA documentation was updated to include new branding-related fields. See the list of deprecated features for other changes to Mobile Operator Scenarios.

Virtualized PCI

There are new programming interfaces for writing a Physical Function driver for devices that conform to the PCI Express Single-Root I/O Virtualization (SR-IOV) specification. The interfaces are declared in Pcivirt.h. For more information, see PCI virtualization.

Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) Controllers

In Windows 10, version 1709, to provide access to a Pulse width modulation (PWM) controller that is part of the SoC and memory-mapped to the SoC address space, you need to write a kernel-mode driver. For more information, see PWM driver for an on-SoC PWM module.

To parse and validate pin paths and extract the pin number, kernel model drivers should use PwmParsePinPath.

An app can send requests to the controller driver by sending PWM IOCTLs requests.

Storage and File Systems

In File Systems and Storage, the ufs.h header was added in Windows 10, version 1709 to provide additional support to Universal Flash Storage.

Posix updates include new functions delete and rename.

The following is a list of headers that were updated in Windows 10, version 1709:

  • ata.h
  • fltKernel.h
  • minitape.h
  • ntddscsi.h
  • ntddstor.h
  • ntddvol.h
  • ntifs.h
  • scsi.h
  • storport.h

USB

This section describes the new features for USB in Windows 10, version 1709.

Media Agnostic USB (MA-USB) protocol

The USB driver stack can send USB packets over non-USB physical mediums such as Wi-Fi by using the Media Agnostic USB (MA-USB) protocol. To implement this feature, new programming interfaces have been released. The new DDIs allow the driver to determine the delays associated with the _URB_GET_ISOCH_PIPE_TRANSFER_PATH_DELAYS. That information can be retrieved by building a new URB request. For information about this new feature, see the following topics:

To support MA-USB, the host controller driver must provide the transport characteristics by implementing specific callback functions. The following table shows the callback functions and structures that support MA-USB.

Callback Functions Structures
EVT_UCX_USBDEVICE_GET_CHARACTERISTIC UCX_ENDPOINT_ISOCH_TRANSFER_PATH_DELAYS
EVT_UCX_USBDEVICE_RESUME UCX_CONTROLLER_ENDPOINT_CHARACTERISTIC_PRIORITY
EVT_UCX_USBDEVICE_SUSPEND UCX_ENDPOINT_CHARACTERISTIC
EVT_UCX_ENDPOINT_GET_ISOCH_TRANSFER_PATH_DELAYS UCX_ENDPOINT_CHARACTERISTIC_TYPE
EVT_UCX_ENDPOINT_SET_CHARACTERISTIC UCX_ENDPOINT_ISOCH_TRANSFER_PATH_DELAYS

Synchronized system QPC with USB frame and microframes

There are new programming interfaces that retrieve the system query performance counter (QPC) value synchronized with the frame and microframe.

This information is retrieved only when the caller enables the feature in the host controller. To enable the feature, a host controller driver must implement the following callback functions.

An application can use these APIs to enable/disable the feature and retrieve the information:

Other drivers can send these IOCTL requests to enable/disable the feature and retrieve the information:

Here are the supporting structures for synchronized system OPC with USB frame and microframes:

IOCTL_UCMTCPCI_PORT_CONTROLLER_DISPLAYPORT_DISPLAY_OUT_STATUS_CHANGED

The IOCTL_UCMTCPCI_PORT_CONTROLLER_DISPLAYPORT_DISPLAY_OUT_STATUS_CHANGED request is a new request in USB Type-C Port Controller Interface framework extension. This request notifies the client driver that the display out status of the DisplayPort connection has changed.

Here are the structures that support the IOCTL_UCMTCPCI_PORT_CONTROLLER_DISPLAYPORT_DISPLAY_OUT_STATUS_CHANGED request:

What's new in Windows 10, version 1703

This section describes new and improved features for driver development in Windows 10, version 1703.

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Audio

The following is a list of new topics for Audio driver development in Windows 10, version 1703:

  • Implementing Audio Module Communication - Describes the support for communication from Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps to kernel mode audio device drivers.
  • New DDIs and properties reference topics to support APO Module Communications discovery:
    • KSPROPSETID_AudioModule - A new KS Property Set that defines three properties specific to audio modules.
    • KSPROPERTY_AUDIOMODULE_COMMAND property - Allows Audio Module clients to send custom commands to query and set parameters on Audio Modules.
    • IPortClsNotifications - New Port Class Notifications that provide notification helpers to miniports, to support audio module communication.

Bluetooth

The following is a list of updates to Bluetooth in Windows 10 version 1703:

  • Hands-Free Profile (HFP) 1.6 specification with Wideband speech on Windows 10 for desktop editions.
  • Support for Call Control APIs on Windows 10 for desktop editions.
  • Support for GATT Server, Bluetooth LE Peripheral and non-paired support for Bluetooth LE. See our developer post for more details.

For more information about what's new for Bluetooth, see Bluetooth and Bluetooth LE pre-pairing.

Camera

The following is a list of updates to Camera driver development in Windows 10, version 1703:

Networking

The following is a list of updates to Networking driver development in Windows 10, version 1703:

POS

The following is a list of new topics for POS in Windows 10, version 1703:

There is a new Gs1DWCode symbology to the BarcodeSymbology enumeration.

USB

Windows 10 version 1703 provides a new class extension (UcmTcpciCx.sys) that supports the Universal Serial Bus Type-C Port Controller Interface Specification. A USB Type-C connector driver does not need to maintain any internal PD/Type-C state. The complexity of managing the USB Type-C connector and USB Power Delivery (PD) state machines is handled by the system. You only need to write a client driver that communicates hardware events to the system through the class extension. For more information, see USB Type-C Controller Interface driver class extensions reference.

What's new in Windows 10, version 1607

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This section describes new features and improvements for driver development in Windows 10, version 1607.

Audio

The following is a list of new topics for Audio driver development in Windows 10, version 1607.

Camera

Camera driver development in Windows 10, version 1607 includes new and updated topics to support Windows Hello and face authentication:

Location

Location driver development in Windows 10, version 1607 includes the following new GNSS Breadcrumb DDIs:

Print

Printer driver development in Windows 10, version 1607 includes JSConstraintsDebug, a command-line tool that provides debugging support for JavaScript Constraints while developing a V4 printer driver.

WLAN

In Windows 10, version 1607, there are new and updated topics for WLAN Device Driver Interface (WDI) version 1.0.21. For details, see WDI doc change history.

What's new in Windows 10, version 1507

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This section describes new and updated features for driver development in Windows 10.

Bluetooth

In Windows 10, new Microsoft-defined Bluetooth HCI extensions have been added.

Buses and Ports

Driver programming interfaces and in-box drivers for Simple Peripheral Bus (SPB) such as I2C and SPI, and GPIO are part of OneCoreUAP-based editions of Windows. Those drivers will run on both Windows 10 for desktop editions and Windows 10 Mobile, as well as other Windows 10 versions.

Camera

The camera driver DDIs have converged into a Universal Windows driver model, including new camera DDIs. Additional features include:

Cellular

Cellular architecture and implementation for Windows 10 has been updated.

Display

The display driver model from Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone have converged into a unified model for Windows 10.

A new memory model is implemented that gives each GPU a per-process virtual address space. Direct addressing of video memory is still supported by WDDMv2 for graphics hardware that requires it, but that is considered a legacy case. IHVs are expected to develop new hardware that supports virtual addressing. Significant changes have been made to the DDI to enable this new memory model.

Human Interface Device (HID)

The new Virtual HID Framework (VHF) eliminates the need for writing a kernel-mode transport minidriver. The framework comprises a Microsoft-provided static library (Vhfkm.lib) that exposes programming elements used by your driver. It also includes a Microsoft-provided in-box driver (Vhf.sys) that enumerates one or more child devices and proceeds to build a virtual Human Interface Device (HID) tree.

Location

The Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) driver DDIs have converged to a GNSS Universal Windows driver model (UMDF 2.0).

Near Field Communication (NFC)

The NFC DDIs have a new converged driver model to support mobile and desktop solutions.

NFC Class Extension: A new NFC class extension driver is available. The NFC class extension driver implements all of the Windows-defined DDIs to interact with the NFC controller, secure elements, and remote RF endpoints.

Networking

The new PacketDirect Provider Interface (PDPI) is available as an extension to the existing NDIS miniport driver model. The PDPI provides an I/O model that allows applications to manage their own buffers, poll processors, and directly manage sending and receiving packets over a miniport adapter. The combination of these capabilities allow the application to completely control its own contexts leading to a much higher packet-per-second (pps) ratio.

Print

The print driver is updated with v4 Print driver improvements and changes to support wireless printing from mobile devices, as well as the following:

  • V4 Driver Manifest – Provides information on changes to the v4 print driver manifest to support the PWG Raster rendering filter, including updated DriverConfig and DriverRender directives, and an updated example manifest.
  • WS-Discovery Mobile Printing Support – Describes the WS-Discovery requirements to enable mobile printing from Windows 10 Mobile devices to Windows 10 Mobile compatible printers.
  • IXpsRasterizationFactory2 interface – Supports printer content conversion from XPS to PWG Raster using the XPS Rasterization Service. PWG Raster supports non-square DPIs.
  • Print Pipeline Property Bag – New PrintDeviceCapabilities property to enable XPS rendering filters to retrieve the new PrintDeviceCapabilities XML files from the Print filter pipeline property bag.
  • GetWithArgument Request and Response Schemas – Provides support for mobile printing with a formal definition and example for the GetWithArgument request and response bidirectional communications schemas.
  • IBidiSpl::SendRecv method – Adds support for mobile printing with the GetWithArgument bidirectional schema value.

Smart Card

In Windows 10, there is a new class extension module, Wudfsmcclassext.dll, which handles complex driver operations. Smart card hardware-specific tasks are handled by your client driver. There are new programming interfaces that your client driver can use to send information about the card to the class extension so that it can process requests. Those driver programming interfaces are part of OneCoreUAP-based editions of Windows.

Storage

In Windows 10, new storage firmware updates (IOCTL interface) allow partners to update their storage device firmware. These updates include:

  • Storage protocol pass through – The updated storage pass through IOCTL interface supports newer protocols including non-volatile memory express (NVMe).
  • Expanded storage query interfaces – The expanded storage query interface allows applications to query protocol-dependent information.

System-Supplied Driver Interfaces

The GUID_DEVICE_RESET_INTERFACE_STANDARD interface defines a standard way for function drivers to attempt to reset and recover a malfunctioning device.

USB

Here are the new features for USB in Windows 10. For more information, see Windows 10: What's new for USB.

WLAN

WDI (WLAN Device Driver Interface) is a new WLAN Universal Windows driver model that converges the WLAN drivers on Windows 10 for desktop editions and Windows 10 Mobile.

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Deprecated features

The following table describes Windows driver development features that have been removed in Windows 10.

Driver technology Feature Deprecated in
GNSS/Location Geolocation driver sample for Windows 8.1 and related documentation Windows 10, version 1709
Mobile Operator Scenarios (Networking) AllowStandardUserPinUnlock Windows 10, version 1709
Scan/Image WSD (Web Services for Devices) Challenger functionality and related documentation Windows 10, version 1709