WiMAX Support Officially Demoted In Linux 5.11
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 17 December 2020 at 02:22 PM EST. 2 Comments
HARDWARE --
The Linux 5.11 merge window continues being very active this week with Linus Torvalds hoping kernel maintainers will get in all of their new feature code well before Christmas.

As reported a few months ago, the Linux kernel is looking to drop its WiMAX support. For phasing out their WiMAX support, with Linux 5.11 they have now moved the code into the "staging" area of the kernel. This is intended as a temporary measure while seeing if any actual users remain of this code and any objections occur or anyone takes over maintaining the code. Otherwise in a later kernel release, the WiMAX support will be stripped out entirely from the mainline kernel.

WiMAX isn't widely used these days outside of the Aeronautical Mobile Airport Communication System (AeroMACS) and also various reported deployments in some developing regions of the world. This kernel code includes the WiMAX infrastructure as well as the Intel 2400M driver. The Intel driver doesn't even support the frequencies used by AeroMACS, so chances are no one will really miss this kernel code being phased out and Intel hasn't been actively maintaining it for years.

The WiMAX demotion to staging occurred with the staging/IIO changes for Linux 5.11. That pull request also has many IIO driver additions, removal of Android ION code, various Realtek WiFi driver updates, mt7621-pci WiFi improvements for Mediatek hardware, and other changes.
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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 or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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