Intel's Many Improvements In Linux 5.17 From Starting Raptor Lake Enablement To PFRUT

Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 30 January 2022 at 05:15 PM EST. 3 Comments
While it shouldn't be too surprising given Intel's open-source track record, but with the in-development Linux 5.17 kernel are once again many prominent additions from new/future hardware support to enabling exciting features.

Intel remains one of the top contributors to the Linux kernel not only when it comes to managing the code that enables their hardware support directly but continuing to oversee many other kernel features and their engineers maintaining various kernel subsystems for upstream. With Linux 5.17 their contributions vary from starting next-gen Raptor Lake (Alder Lake successor) enablement to the ongoing DG2/Alchemist discrete graphics bring-up to AMX for KVM guests to introducing PFRUT for run-time firmware updating of capable components.

Intel continues contributing many great improvements to the mainline Linux kernel, in addition to ensuring the timely support of their hardware.

Here's a look at all of the notable Intel contributions for this new kernel that have been on my radar:

- Early bits of support for Intel Raptor Lake including initial bits for Raptor Lake S graphics support but expect much more "RPL" enablement to happen over the coming kernel cycles... There are already new patches getting ready for the Linux 5.18 cycle.

- While Linux 5.16 introduced support for Intel Advanced Matrix Extensions (AMX), it didn't include the necessary KVM hypervisor support. With Linux 5.17 there is now AMX for KVM guests in time for the upcoming Xeon Scalable "Sapphire Rapids" processors.

- Platform Firmware Runtime Update and Telemetry "PFRUT" is introduced. This is the work previously covered on Phoronix for allowing some system firmware components to be updated at run-time without the need for rebooting the system. PFRUT is an ACPI spec and initially will likely be focused on server platforms for maximizing uptime.

- Continued enablement of DG2/Alchemist discrete graphics. Lots of new code continues to be introduced for Intel's discerete graphics processor efforts.

- Intel Gen11 Ice Lake systems finally have VRR / Adaptive-Sync enabled. Gen12 graphics already have Variable Rate Refresh enabled on recent kernels but an addition was needed to enable Gen11 class support.

- An Intel P-State performance fix for EPP handling with Alder Lake mobile.

- CXL memory hot-plug support is in place that was contributed by Intel with their engineers continuing to lead the Linux kernel subsystem work on Compute Express Link.

- Intel WiFi driver improvements including continued work on upcoming "Bz" hardware, new Killer AX211 WiFi PCI IDs added, 6GHz WiFi scanning fixes, support for Optimized Connectivity Experience (OCE) scanning, and more.

- Intel Alder Lake N audio support.

- CL0s low-power mode supoport for Intel Titan Ridge JHL7440 / JHL7540 / JHL7340 Thunderbolt controllers.

- x86 Straight Line Speculation (SLS) mitigation support.

- Intel engineers were also the ones to contribute the Universal Stylus Initiative (USI) stylus support.

Linux 5.17 is an exciting kernel with AMD also having a number of hardware improvements and the other Linux 5.17 features. Linux 5.17 stable should be out in late March.
Related News
About The Author
Michael Larabel

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

Popular News This Week