Linux 5.14 Lands Updates For Its "Various Driver Subsystems Mushed Together" Tree

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 9 July 2021 at 05:55 AM EDT. Add A Comment
The Linux 5.14 char/misc updates landed this week in the kernel. The "char/misc" area continues to serve as a growing catch-all portion of the code-base not jiving well elsewhere in other subsystems.

Char/misc maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman commented in his 5.14 pull, "This is looking more and more like the "various driver subsystems mushed together" tree..." Indeed it is, particularly with more AI/compute accelerator drivers working their way into the mainline kernel. In years past there has been talk of likely added an "accelerator" subsystem to the Linux kernel but so far that hasn't panned out and drivers for AI hardware and the likes continue living within char/misc.

Speaking of AI, the Habana Labs driver updates are among the sizable updates to char/misc for Linux 5.14. The Habana Labs driver has many improvements with Linux 5.14. That Intel-owned company has decided to disable memory scrubbing by default for performance reasons, resetting the AI devices after a user/client has finished, async device probing, communication protocol improvements, and a variety of other changes made it this cycle for supporting their Gaudi and Goya hardware.

Char/misc also removes the long-deprecated RAW driver.

Char/misc also has various SoundWire updates and continued work on the Xillybus for generic FPGA code in the kernel, among many updates to the smaller drivers living within this area of the kernel.

The full list of char/misc changes this cycle for Linux 5.14 via this PR that already landed in mainline.
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