Linux 5.17 Features From New AMD P-State To Xilinx Drivers, Lots Of New Hardware
Written by Michael Larabel in Software on 23 January 2022. Page 1 of 2. 22 Comments

This morning marked the release of Linux 5.17-rc1 that officially ends the merge window for this next stable kernel series. Linux 5.17 won't see its stable debut until around the end of March but there is a lot to get excited about for this open-source kernel in 2022.

Linux 5.17 is exciting for mainlining the AMD P-State driver that has been under review/testing for the past several months in cooperation with Valve for the Steam Deck, initial Intel Raptor Lake bring-up bits, Intel Alder Lake P graphics being promoted to stable, lots of preparations for future AMD processors, initial support for the recently launched Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, many tablet / laptop support improvements, x86 straight line speculation mitigation support, support for a low-cost RISC-V platform, and a whole lot more.

Here is a look at what's been on my radar from the mailing lists and Git activity over the past two weeks for Linux 5.17. Now that Linux 5.17's merge window is over, it's on to benchmarking many of these interesting changes.

Processors:

- The new AMD P-State driver has been mainlined! This is designed to provide better power efficiency for Zen 2 and newer systems supporting ACPI CPPC, primarily for desktops and mobile.

- An important performance fix for Alder Lake mobile.

- RISC-V sv48 support for 4-level page table support for being able to have up to a 128TB virtual address space / 64TB of physical memory.

- RISC-V reboot support without needing a special driver.

- Early preparations for Intel Raptor Lake while more changes are expected in the coming kernel cycles.

- AMD SMCA updates to prepare for next-gen CPUs.

- AMD EDAC updates for next-gen CPUs as well as adding RDDR5/LRDDR5 reporting support.

- Intel AMX support within KVM virtualization.

- Retiring AMD 3DNow! instruction usage within the kernel.

- Support for the first usable, low-cost RISC-V platform in the form of the StarFive JH7100.

- Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 support is seeing timely support along with the Snapdragon X65. This latest Qualcomm hardware was only announced at the end of November so it's great to see this support materialize for mainline so quickly.

- Initial temperature monitoring support for AMD Zen 4 CPUs.

- Preparations for Arm Scalable Matrix Extensions.

Motherboards / Platforms:

- Faster boot times for AMD Fusion APUs with Hudson D4 chipsets.

- Platform Firmware Runtime Update and Telemetry capabilities "PFRUT" for upcoming Intel servers supporting the ACPI PFRUT specification for allowing run-time updates of some firmware components without needing to go down for a reboot.

- Several older MIPS-based wireless routers from NetGear/Linksys are now supported by the mainline kernel.

- CXL memory hot plug support.

- Sensor monitoring support for more ASUS motherboards.

- A new NZXT driver for lighting and fan controls with NZXT Smart Device v2 hardware and NZXT Fan Controller.

- AMD Smart Trace Buffer support.

Laptops / Tablets:

- Sound Open Firmware support for AMD Renoir's Audio Co-Processor.

- Inhibit charge and force discharge support for capable ThinkPads.

- Custom fan curve support for newer ASUS ROG laptops.

- The new x86 Android Tablet driver designed for applying quirks and workarounds to buggy x86 Android tablets.

- An AMD s2idle failure fix for some AMD Ryzen laptops.

- Various other laptop/tablet driver improvements.

- More tablets and converticles have working stylus/pen support.

- Universal Stylus Initiative (USI) stylus support.

- Support for some older NVIDIA Tegra tablets.

Graphics:

- GPU recovery support for AMD Rembrandt APUs.

- Intel Alder Lake P graphics are now enabled by default rather than being hidden behind a module parameter.

- Initial support for Raptor Lake S graphics.

- Continued Intel DG2 Alchemist enablement work.

- Intel VRR/Adaptive-Sync for Gen11 Icelake graphics.

- VMware VMWGFX preparations for OpenGL 4.3 support in conjunction with Mesa 22.0+ user-space.

- Support for privacy screens integrated into newer laptops.

- Various other graphics/display driver updates.

- Hantro driver VP9 video acceleration.


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