USB Audio Class 3.0 Support, Intel Icelake Audio Set For Linux 4.17

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 27 March 2018 at 07:37 PM EDT. 6 Comments
Continuing on to with some of what we can look forward to seeing with Linux 4.17 for end-users, the sound driver updates are fairly notable for this upcoming kernel cycle.

SUSE's Takashi Iwai has begun wrangling his sound.git tree into shape for the upcoming Linux 4.17 merge window, which may start as soon as next week if Linux 4.16.0 debuts on Sunday.

First off, the ALSA HDA code now has the Icelake PCI ID needed for the sound support with this next-gen successor to the still-yet-to-be-out Cannonlake processors. Great to see the Icelake Linux driver support continuing to get squared away well ahead of the launch next year in small areas like this PCI ID addition and larger areas like the "Gen 11" GPU support within DRM+Mesa.

A more sizable sound addition for Linux 4.17 is the introduction of USB Audio Class 3.0 (UAC3) support. The USB Audio Class 3.0 specification retains backwards compatibility with earlier UAC revisions while for newer devices introducing new power domains, new high capability descriptors, additional sources of interrupts, and other changes. In total it's more than one thousand lines of new kernel code to the USB sound code for UAC 3.0.

USB Audio Device Class 3.0 was introduced at the end of 2016 with the prominent feature being "USB Audio over USB Type-C" standardization. There are also improvements to the spec for reducing power usage and other audio-over-USB enhancements by the USB Implementers Forum.

The sound/audio drivers have also received a number of fixes, the usual quirk additions, and other code changes so far.
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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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