Linux 5.17 To Bring AMD P-State, Many AMD & Intel Improvements, New Optimizations
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 8 January 2022 at 09:35 AM EST. 8 Comments
LINUX KERNEL --
The Linux 5.16 stable kernel is slated for release tomorrow and it delivers on some grand improvements to kick off 2022. But as for great as the Linux 5.16 features are, we are already looking forward to the enhancements on deck with Linux 5.17.

After the Linux 5.16 kernel debuts, the Linux 5.17 merge window opens like clockwork. With my constant monitoring of Linux mailing lists and Git repositories, here is a look at some of the features on trajectory for landing over the next two weeks for Linux 5.17. The Linux 5.17 kernel in turn will debut as stable around the end of March. Linux 5.17 has a lot of work as usual on new AMD and Intel hardware support, new Arm improvements including the ongoing Apple M1 bring-up, new I/O and network optimizations in particular are exciting on the performance front, and a ton of other exciting hardware driver fun.

So subject to any last minute changes or objections from Linus Torvalds, key material that is expected to be presented during the Linux 5.17 merge window includes:

- The many GPU/DRM driver updates were already mailed in. This cycle has initial Intel Raptor Lake S enablement, Alder Lake P graphics are stable, the VC4 driver can now deliver [email protected] for Raspberry Pi usage, AMD Seamless Boot for new hardware, VRR/Adaptive-Sync for Intel Ice Lake Gen11 graphics, more DG2/Alchemist Intel discrete graphics work, and much more as covered in that article.

- The AMD P-State CPU frequency scaling driver is making its debut for Zen 2 and newer systems with a focus on better power efficiency than ACPI CPUFreq.

- AMD Smart Trace Buffer support.

- Ethernet support for AMD Yellow Carp / Rembrandt.

- Initial temperature monitoring for AMD Zen 4 CPUs.

- Intel Alder Lake N audio support.

- Numerous Intel WiFi driver improvements.

- A P-State update important for Alder Lake mobile CPUs.

- Intel PFRUT / Seamless Update support for being able to carry out system firmware updates on servers without rebooting the system, permitting support from the motherboard for said functionality with ACPI Platform Firmware Runtime Updates (PFRUT).

- A new driver for supporting some NZXT lighting / fan controls and monitoring.

- EXT4 Get/Set Label ioctl support for online reading/setting of the file-system label using the same ioctls as F2FS / Btrfs / XFS.

- EXT4 is also switching to Linux's new mount API.

- FUSE is adding a per-file DAX option.

- Hantro driver VP9 video acceleration support for Rockchip, Allwinner, and VeriSilicon SoCs.

- ThinkPad ACPI driver improvements to force discharge and inhibit charge.

- Support for setting custom fan curves with supported ASUS ROG laptops.

- Improving support for various x86 Android tablets via a new driver for buggy/quirky tablets.

- Mainlining support for some older NVIDIA Tegra tablets.

- Xen pvUSB front-end driver is finally being mainlined.

- More additions for Apple M1 SiliCon support.

- A devtmpfs change to help systemd-less systems.

- NVIDIA Spectrum-4 network ASIC support.

- Improved thermal/power management for Intel Titan Ridge Thunderbolt controllers.

- Random Number Generator improvements including a switch from SHA1 to BLAKE2s usage and various performance improvements.

- Arm Scalable Matrix Extensions (SME) preparations and ARM64 also adding Kernel Concurrency Sanitizer (KCSAN) support.

- x86 straight-line speculation mitigation handling in conjunction with new compiler releases.

- Removal of CleanCache.

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

- A fix to the Linux kernel's floppy code where a hang can happen if trying to read a broken floppy.

- A latency optimization for AF_UNIX sockets.

- A big TCP optimization and other new network optimizations.

- More I/O optimizations.

Stay tuned to Phoronix for more of the changes coming in Linux 5.17 for whatever items slipped under my radar prior to the merge window. Once the Linux 5.17 merge window passes is when I'll be firing up the start of the Linux 5.17 kernel benchmarks.
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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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