The SMBus standard specifies an address resolution protocol (SMBus ARP.) It has two key features :
- Handle I2C slave address collisions. If two SMBus slaves would use the same I2C address, ARP lets one of them pick a different address to avoid the address collision.
- Automatically and reliably identify SMBus slaves. Each SMBus slave supporting ARP has a unique device ID, which can be used to automatically instantiate the right I2C device and subsequently let the needed driver be loaded.
If implemented properly, sensors-detect would no longer be needed on a number of systems, as all required drivers would get loaded automatically.
There has been some work done on SMBus ARP in the past, but nothing good enough to be integrated in the upstream kernel. Mark D. Studebaker wrote proof-of-concept code in 2002, for kernel 2.2. The code was updated for kernel 2.4 but development stopped in 2005.
More recently, Corentin Labbe has been working on proof-of-concept code for kernel 2.6/3. As I recall the code did not actually work, but maybe it can be used as a base.
Miserable failure. Proper hardware support is rare, and prerequisites aren't met.
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