Linux 4.6 Begins Laying The Foundation For POWER9

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 18 March 2016 at 08:43 AM EDT. 6 Comments
The IBM POWER architecture updates were sent in today for Linux 4.6 and includes the first early bit of work on supporting the next-generation POWER9 processors.

IBM has been developing POWER9 and based on the Power ISA 3.0 while the first POWER9 processors aren't expected to appear at least until next year, according to rumors. With this morning's POWER architecture update I noticed there's the first bits of POWER9 references for the kernel.

A POWER9 CPU table entry is added to the kernel by Michael Neuling of IBM. That patch explains, "Add a cputable entry for POWER9. More code is required to actually boot and run on a POWER9 but this gets the base piece in which we can start building on." So it's not workable support yet, but it's good to see IBM moving towards POWER9 support in the mainline Linux kernel and will hopefully all be out there by the time POWER9 hardware starts shipping.

Besides that early POWER9 teaser, there is also FPU/Altivec/VSX save/restore optimizations, support for the new ftrace ABI on PPC64LE, code clean-ups, and a variety of other updates. More details here.
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