Linux 5.11 Has Many x86 Platform Driver Changes For From Dell BIOS Controls To Telemetry

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 16 December 2020 at 06:36 AM EST. 5 Comments
The x86-platform-drivers area of the kernel has a lot of prominent additions with Linux 5.11 for benefiting a variety of AMD and Intel laptops.

The x86-platform-drivers additions have an assortment of Intel/AMD hardware support changes primarily benefiting Linux laptop users. Among the new changes with the ongoing Linux 5.11 merge window are:

- The AMD SoC PMC driver for the power management controller on Raven Ridge, Picasso, Renoir, and Cezanne and is used for handling S2idle transactions. Yes, I'll run some power tests soon.

- Lenovo ThinkPad palm sensor detection support.

- The Dell WMI Systems Management driver has been merged. This driver allows configurable BIOS settings to be exposed via sysfs so they can be changed by Linux user-space. Basically to allow manipulating the BIOS configuration on certain Dell systems from within Linux. This is being exposed under /sys/devices/platform/dell-wmi-sysman/attributes/. This does also allow resetting the BIOS configuration too via sysfs. Lenovo is reportedly working on similar functionality for their systems on Linux.

- The Intel Platform Monitoring Technology (PMT) Telemetry driver for Tiger Lake hardware and newer is now in Linux 5.11. PMT Telemetry support narrowly missed Linux 5.10 but now is in Linux 5.11 for enumerating and accessing hardware monitoring capabilities of a device. This is intended for internal hardware management / monitoring / collection and intended to be used within large organizations, etc. Intel PMT is exposed to user-space in an XML format.

- Continued work on improving Microsoft Surface support under Linux.

- Rocket Lake device IDs have been added to the Intel HID driver.

- The Panasonic Laptop driver now has support for battery charging threshold configuration or "Eco Mode" as the company refers to it.

- Dual fan control support for the Lenovo P15 and P1 Gen3.

- Various other hardware and device quirk additions.

More details 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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