Linux 5.8 Has The Bits Needed To Begin Booting POWER10 Processors

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 5 June 2020 at 05:22 PM EDT. 19 Comments
POWER10 is the forthcoming IBM + OpenPOWER processor expected to be shipping in 2021 and manufactured on a 7nm process and offer big improvements over the existing POWER9 microarchitecture.

There has been a lot of POWER10 open-source enablement already happening from the Linux kernel to code compilers and other key components. Now with the Linux 5.8 kernel is enough code to have initial support for booting on POWER10 hardware. Granted, outside of IBM / OpenPOWER and key partners, it will still be some months (and more kernel releases down the road) before seeing the hardware and thus more time still to get the support squared away -- hopefully in time for the the spring 2021 Linux distributions.

Besides having initial boot support for POWER10, Linux 5.8 also brings POWER10 prefixed instructions support.

On the POWER9 front, the Linux 5.8 kernel does bring support for exposing the hardware's GZIP accelerator to user-space. This allows modified user-space programs to submit requests directly to the on-chip accelerator for GZIP offload.

More details on the POWER changes for the 5.8 cycle via this Git merge.
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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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