Linux 6.3 Supports The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 & Other New High-End Arm SoCs

Written by Michael Larabel in Arm on 18 February 2023 at 07:30 AM EST. 9 Comments
Ahead of the Linux 6.3 merge window officially opening up following the Linux 6.2 stable release tomorrow, Arnd Bergmann has already mailed in his pull requests of the Arm SoC and defconfig updates for this next kernel version. Most notable is having mainline support for the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 as well as some other new, high-end embedded SoCs.

The pull is another big one with 1,365 non-merge changesets. There is 88,552 lines added while dropping 174,681. It's coming in lighter due to some spring cleaning with removing "dead code" for a number of Arm 32-bit platforms. Linux 6.0 deprecated most of the old-style board files while now with Linux 6.3 those old board files are being removed.

This pull also introduces a "virtconfig" build target for 64-bit Arm that is used for an AArch64 kernel build for VM/virtual use. This ARM64 virtconfig disables all the top-level SoC specific options for building a smaller kernel and building quicker with avoiding all the SoC code that will go unused.

The highlights on the DeviceTree front with new enablement in Linux 6.3 includes:
The newly added SoCs this time are all recent high-end embedded SoCs for various markets, each on comes with support for its reference board:

- Qualcomm SM8550 (Snapdragon 8 Gen 2) for mobile phones
- Qualcomm QDU1000/QRU1000 5G RAN platform
- Rockchips RK3588/RK3588s for tablets, chromebooks and SBCs
- TI J784S4 for industrial and automotive applications

In total, there are 46 new arm64 machines:
- Reference platforms for each of the five new SoCs
- Three Amlogic based development boards
- Six embedded machines based on NXP i.MX8MM and i.MX8MP
- The Mediatek mt7986a based Banana Pi R3 router
- Six tablets based on Qualcomm MSM8916 (Snapdragon 410), SM6115 (Snapdragon 662) and SM8250 (Snapdragon 865)
- Two LTE dongles, also based on MSM8916
- Seven mobile phones, based on Qualcomm MSM8953 (Snapdragon 610), SDM450 and SDM632
- Three chromebooks based on Qualcomm SC7280 (Snapdragon 7c)
- Nine development boards based on Rockchips RK3588, RK3568, RK3566 and RK3328.
- Five development machines based on TI K3 (AM642/AM654/AM68/AM69)

It was just months ago that Qualcomm unveiled the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 flagship SoC while Linaro engineers posted Linux kernel patches within days. That Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 support is now ready for mainline with Linux 6.3!

It's great seeing all the punctual, mainline support recently on the Qualcomm side.

Linux 6.3 also adds support for the Rockchip RV1126 Vision SoC with NPU and the RK3128 that is used in some set-top TV boxes.
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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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