Linux 6.1 Networking Brings WiFi EHT & MLO Preparations, New ASICs Enabled

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Networking on 6 October 2022 at 01:30 PM EDT. 2 Comments
LINUX NETWORKING --
The networking feature pull for the Linux 6.1 kernel brings 127k lines of new code and 50k lines of code removed as a rather hearty set of wired/wireless networking driver updates and core improvements this round.

As usual with Linux being used from embedded devices and smartphones up through HPC systems and large servers, the networking subsystem updates tend to be very wide-ranging. Among the key networking highlights for the Linux 6.1 merge window includes:

- Continued WiFi preparations for Extremely High Throughput (EHT) and WiFi Multi-Link Operation (MLO) as part of WiFi 802.11be and WiFi 7.

- Fixing a 10~20% performance regression seen previously within a UDP packet flood test. This is fixed by introducing a new cache for allocating small SKB heads.

- Introducing an any-context-safe memory allocator for BPF. There are also a variety of other BPF improvements.

- Support for TCP_FASTOPEN_CONNECT with the Multi-Patch TCP (MPTCP) code.

- The old DECnet code has finally been removed.

New wired/wireless networking hardware support includes:
- Ethernet:
- Microchip KSZ9896 6-port Gigabit Ethernet Switch
- Renesas Ethernet AVB (EtherAVB-IF) Gen4 SoCs
- Analog Devices ADIN1110 and ADIN2111 industrial single pair
Ethernet (10BASE-T1L) MAC+PHY.
- Rockchip RV1126 Gigabit Ethernet (a version of stmmac IP).

- Ethernet SFPs / modules:
- RollBall / Hilink / Turris 10G copper SFPs
- HALNy GPON module

- WiFi:
- CYW43439 SDIO chipset (brcmfmac)
- CYW89459 PCIe chipset (brcmfmac)
- BCM4378 on Apple platforms (brcmfmac)

More details on the many networking changes for the Linux 6.1 kernel via this pull request that has already been honored by Linus Torvalds and merged to mainline.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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