Intel "Input Output Manager" Linux Driver Coming For Tiger Lake

Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 25 July 2020 at 09:47 AM EDT. 2 Comments
While Intel's open-source engineers have been working on Tiger Lake enablement for Linux going back roughly a year with many kernel patches spanning the different areas over numerous kernel releases, which aligns with Intel's ongoing cadence of ensuring good Linux hardware support at launch even for consumer hardware, there have been a few stragglers in the Linux bring-up for Tiger Lake.

It wasn't until the current Linux 5.8 cycle that Thunderbolt / USB4 support is in place, rather late compared to much of the Tiger Lake support being in shape since ~5.4 or so, but as is usually the case with most hardware launchers, the newer the kernel will generally mean a better experience with more features and performance.

Another item on the radar more recently is that a new "IOM" driver for Tiger Lake is still pending. The IOM driver is for the Input Output Manager. The "IOM" manager is a microcontroller on the Tiger Lake SoC for configuring USB Type-C functionality and managing of the Type-C topology for whether serving as USB, DisplayPort, or Thunderbolt as well as for handling power management functionality. The IOM Linux driver will then be used the other drivers with the information exposed like the existing Intel PMC USB MUX control driver.

The IOM Linux driver code is still undergoing review and not yet queued up for Linux 5.9, but hopefully will still make it in time with Tiger Lake laptops expected to begin shipping in the months ahead.

Once Intel Tiger Lake laptops are finally shipping, we'll be delivering a look at the Linux support and performance state for this generation succeeding Icelake and bringing Gen12 graphics, USB4, PCI Express 4.0, new media engine capabilities, and more.
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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 20,000 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, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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