Char/Misc Brings Binder Freeze, PVPANIC, Habana Labs Improvements To Linux 5.13
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 27 April 2021 at 06:23 AM EDT. 1 Comment
LINUX KERNEL --
The "char/misc" continues to be the random catch-all subsystem for the Linux kernel for drivers and buses not fitting well into other areas of the Linux kernel. Increasingly char/misc is hosting various accelerator/offload devices with the kernel still not yet introducing its own formal accelerator subsystem. With Linux 5.13 the "char/misc" pull continues to be heavy on a wide assortment of changes.

The char/misc pull request submitted on Monday by Greg Kroah-Hartman has around fifteen thousand lines of new code added to the kernel. There are many patches across the board but some of the highlights include:

- A new driver to support the interconnect buses found on Qualcomm network-on-chip SDM630/SDM636/SDM660 SoCs.

- A new driver for the Synopsys DesignWare xData IP driver. This is for a Synopsys PCI traffic generator.

- The "PVPANIC" driver has been mainlined thanks to Oracle. PVPANIC is a para-virtualized QEMU device that lets a virtual machine / guest communicate panic events to the host.

- Binder has added the BINDER_FREEZE ioctl for introducing the app freezing capability. The kernel patches allow for the user-space framework to freeze and thaw a cached process.

- Many updates to the Intel Habana Labs AI accelerator driver including reset support after a user closes the file descriptor in

- Many updates around the Qualcomm MHI (Modem Host Interface) bus.

- The Intel Trace Hub (intel_th) driver adds support for Rocket Lake and Alder Lake M processors.

- Intel Alder Lake P support for the Management Engine Interface (MEI) driver.

- Support for the Xilinx DFX AXI Shutdown manager.

- Various SoundWire updates.

The full list of char/misc patches for Linux 5.13 can be found via this pull request.
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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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