USB4 / Thunderbolt Improvements Head Into Linux 5.11

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 17 December 2020 at 09:34 AM EST. 5 Comments
As part of the areas of the kernel overseen by Greg Kroah-Hartman is the USB subsystem. The USB (and Thunderbolt) updates are now in mainline as part of the ongoing Linux 5.11 merge window.

The USB/Thunderbolt updates for Linux 5.11 include a lot of ongoing work around the USB4 support. Among the changes are:

- Intel Maple Ridge support as the company's first dedicated USB4/Thunderbolt controller in the form of the JHL8540 / JHL8340 ASICs.

- A new driver for testing if USB4 / Thunderbolt ports are functional with this USB4 DMA test driver.

- Host run-time power management is now enabled by default for the Intel Alpine Ridge LP.

- A number of USB Type-C updates. The USB Type-C power delivery code also now exposes the partner type via sysfs as defined by the USB Power Delivery Specification with the supported product types for partner devices. Other Type-C driver information is also now being exported via sysfs.

- Broadcom has contributed the brcmstb-usb-pinmap driver. With the Broadcom 7211 SoC used by the likes of the Raspberry Pi 4 there is the ability to allow some USB low-speed side-band signals to be remapped to use any GPIO pin instead of the limited set selectable by the hardware. Various signals (PWRON, VBUS_PRESENT and PWRFLT) can be remapped and configured based upon the DeviceTree for a given device.

The full list of changes via this pull request.
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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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