Intel Medfield Linux Support Gets Going
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 15 November 2010 at 09:22 AM EST. 2 Comments
Intel's next-generation MID (Mobile Internet Device) platform to succeed Moorestown is codenamed Medfield and is slated to be released next year. However, in usual Intel fashion, open-source patches for supporting this next-generation platform under Linux are beginning to make their way out there months in advance of the hardware's public availability.

Over the past few weeks there's been an uptick in the number of patches surfacing for Medfield enablement within the Linux kernel. Many of these Medfield Linux patches are being published by Alan Cox, now an Intel employee. The most recent patch comes from Alan and Durgadoss R (another Intel engineer) for creating a Medfield thermal driver (patch).

Previous to this thermal driver patch for Intel's next-generation mobile platform, other patches have also been published for integration into the Linux kernel such as for the SHDCI driver (patch), i2c Medfield driver (patch), and HSU early console support (patch), among other work.

With Intel's Medfield MID platform it looks like the Linux support will continue to be spot-on. However, the caveat of course may actually be the Linux graphics support if they continue to use externally-licensed IP for their graphics core (from Imagination Technologies with the PowerVR) like they have notoriously done with Poulsbo and Moorestown. There are though improvements coming, as we have already hinted for Linaro and Intel's MeeGo.

Aside from emerging Linux hardware support, what we know about Medfield at this time is that it consists of a 32nm Intel Atom CPU with greater performance and energy optimizations over the existing Menlow and Moorestown platforms and is design to take aim at ARM's standing within this mobile space of smart-phones, MIDs, tablets, and more.

Intel working on open-source hardware enablement for Linux prior to the hardware's release is nothing new but is in fact how they graciously handle their support. For example, Intel's been working on Sandy Bridge graphics support since at least this February and have already hit several public milestones. In fact, they plan to have the open-source 3D support for this next-generation Intel integrated graphics processor done this quarter while we won't see the hardware until at least January.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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