The New Linux 4.10 Kernel Features So Far: AMD Zen, TBM3, More ARM

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 16 December 2016 at 11:08 AM EST. 3 Comments
Here is a look at the new features so far of the Linux 4.10 kernel, less than one week into the two-week merge window process. There is a lot of great improvements and additions to Linux 4.10, but we'll see if it ends up being a bigger release than Linux 4.9.

Among the Linux 4.10 changes we have covered in the past week on Phoronix, if you're behind on your reading of our 10+ original articles per day, are the following highlights for this next kernel version:

DRM / Graphics:

- Yet another big DRM update including three new ARM DRM drivers.

- Prep work on Intel GVT support coming together.

- The i915 DRM driver has scheduler prep work and priority boosting, among many other low-level code improvements.

- AMDGPU DRM has power management fixes and RPM fan information along with a new GPU VM manager.

- The open-source NVIDIA (Nouveau) driver is very exciting this time around with atomic mode-setting, DP MST, preliminary BOOST support for faster performance, a LED driver, and more.

- The VC4 Raspberry Pi driver presents ETC1 and fragment shader threading support.

- Freedreno MSM has initial support for the Qualcomm Adreno A5xx along with early 3D bits in the Freedreno Gallium3D Mesa driver.

- The Linux kernel is now without any FBDEV maintainer as this subsystem continues to lose interest by most Linux kernel developers.

Disk / Storage / File-System:

- EXT4 DAX iomap support along with other improvements, including fscrypt changes.

- DAX iomap for XFS and other improvements. There's also now a new temporary maintainer to the XFS code for the Linux kernel.

- UBIFS file encryption support making use of the fscrypt framework.

- A RAID5 write-back cache feature for MD along with more AVX2 optimizations.

- ATA Command Priority support.

- Performance tuning for F2FS.

- A variety of block changes.

Other Hardware:

- Intel Turbo Boost Max 3.0 support! Yes, TBM3 is finally here for benefiting Broadwell-E and future Intel CPUs.

- Early support for NVIDIA's Tegra P1 / Parker SoC (Tegra 186).

- There's also support for several new ARM platforms with the mainline kernel including the Samsung Exynos 5433, HiSilicon Hip07, Qualcomm Snapdragon 808/810, Huawei Nexus 6P, LG Nexus 6X, Pine64, Droid 4, PhooPlug v3, and much more. There's also better mainline support for the Raspberry Pi 3.

- HDMI CEC is now mainstream rather than being within the kernel's staging area.

- Various x86 laptop quirks.

- OpenRISC improvements for those looking forward to this open, royalty-free processor ISA.

- A mediated device interface for VFIO as part of Intel's GVT graphics virtualization support and NVIDIA is also using it as part of their vGPU support.

- Microsoft Surface 3/4 touch input support.

- More AMD Zen (Ryzen) code is being mainlined.


- Many power management updates.

- The usual work from Ingo Molnar's changes, including some code related to AMD Zen.

- 1,000+ staging changes.

- EFI now exposes the frame-buffer configuration for localized update strings and more.

Stay tuned for more Linux 4.10 coverage as the merge window remains open until right before Christmas. Once the merge window is over and the new features landed, you can begin seeing preliminary Linux 4.10 kernel benchmarks on Phoronix.
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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

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