Intel's Lightning Mountain Appears Punted Off Or Canned As Part Of MaxLinear Acquisition

Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 10 March 2021 at 06:24 AM EST. 1 Comment
Back in 2019 we reported on Intel bringing up a new SoC dubbed "Lighting Mountain" to be used as a network processor and for other use-cases. Intel brought up that initial Linux kernel code for Lightning Mountain in 2019 but since then the code has already begun to fall into disrepair while it looks like it was either punted off as part of MaxLinear's acquisition last year of the Intel Home Gateway Platform Division or otherwise as a result of that was cancelled.

There hasn't been much to report on for Lightning Mountain since the initial batch of code went upstream in 2019 and then last year were just a few more Lightning Mountain (LGM) remnants going up in relation to Intel's Gateway SoC. Then again, it isn't an incredibly exciting area from a technical angle with Lightning Mountain being a 14nm Airmont based design.

This week we were reminded though of Lightning Mountain when this message hit the kernel mailing list: Intel, please maintain your drivers was Re: [PATCH] leds: lgm: fix gpiolib dependency. Longtime upstream kernel developer Pavel Machek of SUSE was publicly calling out Intel over a driver build failure for the Lightning Mountain LED code plus "there's more to fix there" while noting the original Intel author appears to have went away or otherwise unreachable via his Intel address.

Following that Intel engineer Adam Borowski renamed the thread to MaxLinear, please maintain your drivers and noted, "I asked around, and got told Mallikarjuna has been "sold" to MaxLinear, together with the rest of the Connected Home Division. So he most likely still works on this stuff, just under a different banner. Alas, no idea about his MaxLinear address."

Following that Pavel then proposed a patch marking the Intel Lightning Mountain LED driver as "BROKEN" unless MaxLinear ends up stepping up to the plate to maintain this formerly Intel kernel code. We'll see if MaxLinear steps up to maintain this Lightning Mountain code or if this Airmont-based SoC was quietly dropped otherwise given the lack of code churn for the Linux drivers.

It was in April 2020 that MaxLinear announced it would be acquiring Intel's Home Gateway Platform Division for approximately $150 million and that deal was completed in August. So we'll keep monitoring to see if there is any movement on this Lightning Mountain code for the Linux kernel or if it will end up going the way of Intel's MID code.

Update (11 March 2021): MaxLinear says they will maintain the Lightning Mountain driver code moving forward.
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