Char/Misc Brings Binder Freeze, PVPANIC, Habana Labs Improvements To Linux 5.13

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 27 April 2021 at 06:23 AM EDT. 1 Comment
The "char/misc" continues to be the random catch-all subsystem for the Linux kernel for drivers and buses not fitting well into other areas of the Linux kernel. Increasingly char/misc is hosting various accelerator/offload devices with the kernel still not yet introducing its own formal accelerator subsystem. With Linux 5.13 the "char/misc" pull continues to be heavy on a wide assortment of changes.

The char/misc pull request submitted on Monday by Greg Kroah-Hartman has around fifteen thousand lines of new code added to the kernel. There are many patches across the board but some of the highlights include:

- A new driver to support the interconnect buses found on Qualcomm network-on-chip SDM630/SDM636/SDM660 SoCs.

- A new driver for the Synopsys DesignWare xData IP driver. This is for a Synopsys PCI traffic generator.

- The "PVPANIC" driver has been mainlined thanks to Oracle. PVPANIC is a para-virtualized QEMU device that lets a virtual machine / guest communicate panic events to the host.

- Binder has added the BINDER_FREEZE ioctl for introducing the app freezing capability. The kernel patches allow for the user-space framework to freeze and thaw a cached process.

- Many updates to the Intel Habana Labs AI accelerator driver including reset support after a user closes the file descriptor in

- Many updates around the Qualcomm MHI (Modem Host Interface) bus.

- The Intel Trace Hub (intel_th) driver adds support for Rocket Lake and Alder Lake M processors.

- Intel Alder Lake P support for the Management Engine Interface (MEI) driver.

- Support for the Xilinx DFX AXI Shutdown manager.

- Various SoundWire updates.

The full list of char/misc patches for Linux 5.13 can be found via this pull request.
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