Intel In-Field Scan (IFS) Driver Improved - Will Remove Its "Broken" Tag

Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 23 October 2022 at 05:12 AM EDT. 3 Comments
A new Linux driver introduced by Intel earlier this year was the In-Field Scan for making use of new silicon failure testing functionality with upcoming Intel server CPUs. The IFS driver and associated hardware capability is for detecting potential problems not caught by parity or ECC checks on systems in production. In-Field Scan was merged in Linux 5.19 but then shortly thereafter the driver was marked "broken" due to some driver design issues coming to light. New patches for IFS have been posted to improve the driver's design and remove that "broken" tag.

The driver was marked broken shortly after it was merged since it was figured out the initial sysfs API was inadequate. The main problem was the initial assumption by the Intel engineers working on the driver that IFS would leverage a single test image at a time rather than multiple tests.

This week a set of 14 patches were posted for the Intel IFS Linux driver to now allow for multi-test-image support. The updated driver patches allow the IFS driver to have multiple scan test image files. Plus a few other fixes and improvements were incorporated into this patch series.

The patch series concludes with marking this silicon testing feature as no longer broken. With the multi-test support sorted out, Intel is confident now in the driver's API/ABI for this new silicon testing feature appearing with next-generation server processors. Given the timing of these patches, we will likely see them land for the v6.2 kernel cycle.
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