Features To Start Looking Forward To For Linux 4.5

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 4 January 2016 at 10:30 AM EST. Add A Comment
With Linux 4.4 expected next weekend, here's a look at some of the early features we've already been talking about on Phoronix that should be on the table for the Linux 4.5 merge window.

While I will be writing a lot about the Linux 4.5 kernel features beginning next week when the merge window opens and the pull requests start being sent in, here's a look at some of the items to look forward to:

- By far the feature that makes me incredibly impatient for Linux 4.5 is finally having AMDGPU PowerPlay support! This will finally allow the latest AMD GCN GPUs like the R9 Fury and R9 285 Tonga graphics cards to have re-clocking support so they can deliver good performance, as already shown by our benchmarks. This is a late but necessary feature to AMDGPU DRM and will finally allow the R9 285 released in 2014 to have suitable performance on the open-source driver. However, with Linux 4.5, there still are some extra steps needed to make use of this functionality.

- There are also other Radeon/AMDGPU changes including optimizations and removal of user-space mode-setting (UMS) support.

- Potential mainline support for the Raspberry Pi 2.

- The kernel changes for allowing open-source 3D on the Raspberry Pi hardware, in conjunction with the VC4 Gallium3D code in user-space.

- A Rockchip DRM driver.

- More enablement work on Intel Kabylake, the successor to Skylake due out later this year.

- Intel PSR improvements.

- Potentially the long-developed Vivante DRM driver.

- Google's Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 are closer to working on a mainline kernel.

Yeah, most of these early changes to talk about are in the DRM/graphics space given our focus on Phoronix, but once the merge window opens you can expect to find out a lot more on Phoronix about the other features and improvements coming for the Linux 4.5 kernel. The Linux 4.5 kernel will be too late for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and other Q1'2016 distribution updates, but users can of course upgrade on their own.
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About The Author
Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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