The New Features Of Linux 4.15: AMDGPU DC, RISC-V, EPYC Benefits, VR Improvements
Written by Michael Larabel in Software on 26 November 2017. Page 2 of 3. 13 Comments

CPU / Processors

- The RISC-V code was merged as a new architecture. However, in Linux 4.15 this code doesn't support any actual RISC-V hardware as their device drivers haven't yet been merged, this is just the common architecture code.

- On the RISC side, Linux 4.15 also adds OpenRISC SMP support for multi-core OpenRISC designs.

- Intel UMIP for User-Mode Instruction Prevention for preventing certain instructions from being executed outside of ring level zero.

- Various Intel AVX-512 updates.

- New ARM platform/SoC support including mainline support for the Allwinner R40, Broadcom Hurricane 2, CubieBoard 6, Banana Pi M2 Ultra, Fairphone 2, and various other ARM boards.

- Correct /proc/cpuinfo frequency reporting, though this should also get back-ported to the Linux stable series.

- Intel Coffee Lake and Cannonlake thermal support.

- Turbo Boost Max 3.0 support for newer Skylake-based Core X-Series processors.

- AMD Zen temperature monitoring support for finally being able to report core package temperatures on Ryzen / Threadripper / EPYC processors.

- The core bits for AMD Secure Encrypted Virtualization (SEV) have landed for EPYC processors. But the KVM changes for supporting SEV aren't coming until Linux 4.16.

- Improved NUMA node balancing for EPYC processors and we are seeing better EPYC server performance with our early benchmarks of this new kernel.

Power Management

- Intel laptop battery improvements for Haswell-era hardware and newer thanks to SATA link power management changes.

- There's also been ASPM fixes (Active State Power Management) and the usual ACPI and power management updates.

Storage / File-Systems

- F2FS file-system enhancements including sysfile-based quota support for Android.

- The aging AFS "Andrew File-System" was overhauled by Red Hat.

- Btrfs compression improvements and other fixes.

- "Great scads of new stuff" within the XFS file-system driver.

- EXT4 now has bigalloc online resizing and various fixes.

- NVMe improvements as well as a new maintainer for BCache.

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