Initial i.MX8 SoC Support & Development Board Possibly Ready For Linux 4.21
The mainline Linux kernel up to now has just seen a pinctrl and thermal driver for the i.MX8 hardware and some other bits but a bulk of the necessary support hasn't reached mainline yet. Now it's looking like the i.MX8MQ SoC and i.MX8MQ EVK board support could be mainlined for the upcoming Linux 4.21 cycle.
The latest patches were sent out on Sunday with Abel Vesa trying to get the work across the finish line for this next merge window. The support is enough to make the i.MX8MQ SoC happy and boot with the EVK board. The patch comments explain, "This is enough to get a very basic board support up and running....This is the evaluation kit board for the i.MX8M. The current level of support yields a working console and is able to boot userspace from SD card or Network."
The state of the i.MX8 kernel support is particularly important with Purism designing their Librem 5 Linux smartphone around it. Though like with most ARM hardware vendors, at least initially they are likely to be using their own downstream branch of the Linux kernel until all their necessary changes have been mainlined -- especially with the 4.21 material not being for the Purism support. Purism's current public schedule puts them with hopefully shipping the developer kits this month (December) while they delayed the phone's planned release from January now to April 2019 but even that is still a rather ambitious goal.