Intel Icelake Thunderbolt Support, Stratix10 Additions & Other Material Hits Linux 5.4

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 22 September 2019 at 03:37 PM EDT. Add A Comment
The "char/misc" changes for the Linux 5.4 are as eventful as ever.

Greg Kroah-Hartman sent in the char/misc changes earlier this week for the Linux 5.4 merge window that's now half-way through. The since merged material contains a lot of notable hardware support improvements.

Exciting us the most is that the Intel Icelake Thunderbolt support is now squared away. Intel had most of the Icelake CPU support in good shape going back months including for the Gen11 graphics, but the Thunderbolt support was the last holdout. With Icelake, the Thunderbolt controller has moved onto the CPU package itself sans the power deliver infrastructure. These changes yielded additional work to get Icelake Thunderbolt support going under Linux, but it's finally there for Linux 5.4 with Icelake laptops beginning to hit retail channels.

Also on the Intel side with this pull request are continued Stratix10 FPGA additions. One new Stratix10 driver with Linux 5.4 is one supporting remote system updates with the "RSU" code.

Seeing a lot of activity as well in char/misc is all of the Habana Labs AI accelerator work. Habana Labs saw its initial AI "Goya" accelerator work merged for Linux 5.1 and has continued since. There has been talk of introducing an "accelerator" subsystem within the Linux kernel that would move these sorts of drivers outside of char/misc, but so far that has yet to happen.

Besides these mentioned drivers, there is a lot of other random char/misc work that happened as well for Linux 5.4.
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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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