Linux 3.9 Kernel Improves ARM Hardware Support
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 22 February 2013 at 04:15 AM EST. Add A Comment
The Linux 3.9 kernel will be another exciting update not only for common x86 users but the ARM hardware support continues to advance too.

The 3.9 ARM SoC pull was sent in on Thursday by Arnd Bergmann. Among the noteworthy updates this time around include:

- Merging initial NVIDIA Tegra 4 support. Tegra 4 is NVIDIA's first ARM Cortex-A15 SoC that will begin shipping in the coming months. NVIDIA's had initial Tegra 4 SoC kernel code (a.k.a. "Tegra 114") for a while but now the initial code will be mainlined in Linux 3.9. Aside from enabling the Tegra 4 SoC, Linux 3.9 also brings support for the Dalmore and Pluto development boards.

- Separate from Tegra 4, there's now support by NVIDIA for the Tegra 3 "Beaver Board." The Beaver Board is a NVIDIA development board that features a quad-core T3 Cortex-A9 SoC, 2GB of DDR3L memory, 16GB EMMC memory, 1 SD slot, USB, PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet, audio, Serial ATA, HDMI, and UART/JTAG.

- Xen virtualization for ARM began in the Linux 3.7 kernel. There's been KVM for ARM patches that have been available for a few months, but it looks like in Linux 3.9 is where the Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) support for ARMv7 will take shape. For using KVM/Xen virtualization on ARM, a Cortex-A15 (or future ARM processors) is required.

- The Marvell Kirkwood now has PCI Express hot-plugging support.

- Various improvements and clean-ups to all of the common ARM SoC Linux support, e.g. OMAP, Tegra, Samsung, Zynq, etc. More ARM hardware also supports multi-platform.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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