Linux 5.19 Will Be Super Exciting For Intel Customers, Many Other Features Expected
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 22 May 2022 at 07:04 AM EDT. 5 Comments
LINUX KERNEL --
Unless Linus Torvalds has reservations today about the changes to land in the kernel this past week and decides to issue an extra RC, Linux 5.18 is expected to be christened as stable today and that in turn will mark the start of the Linux 5.19 merge window. Based on the "-next" activity, here is a look at the many changes expected to be merged for Linux 5.19.

Linux 5.18 has many new features but as always there is Linux N+1 to look forward too... With my daily monitoring of the many Linux subsystem "-next" Git branches, below is a look at the material currently queued up that should be sent in during the Linux 5.19 merge window. Of course, there is the possibility of last minute changes or Linus Torvalds finding objections if there are any code quality concerns, but below is the rough list of the items I found interesting in my "-next" monitoring over the past number of weeks.

Linux 5.19 is set to bring more Apple M1 enablement work upstream, is particularly heavy on upcoming Intel CPU/GPU hardware enablement, has some AMD changes like SEV-SNP being finally upstreamed, performance work on exFAT and other file-systems, Zstd-compressed firmware support, and much more. On the AMD side there is also more RDNA3 enablement work landing in preparation for the Radeon RX 7000 series graphics cards launching later this year.


When it comes to the Intel changes in Linux 5.19 among the expected material is IPI virtualization, Intel In-Field Scan "IFS" for spotting faulty silicon, Intel TDX, Arc Graphics DG2/Alchemist looking like it should be in decent shape finally with this kernel, and other enablement work (PCI ID additions, etc) for Raptor Lake and other upcoming processors/SoCs.

Some of the expected Linux 5.19 changes include:

- Intel DG2/Alchemist graphics appears to be stable with Linux 5.19 set to expose the compute support to user-space, adding in production PCI IDs, and more. Linux 5.19 might end up being the minimum recommended kernel version for these upcoming Intel discrete graphics cards, but we'll know for sure closer to launch.

- Intel Raptor Lake P graphics support.

- The Intel In-Field Scan (IFS) for spotting faulty silicon is being mainlined for help with data center testing and other scenarios around spotting hardware issues prior to production deployment or as hardware ages.

- Intel TDX enablement around the Trust Domain Extensions should be landing to prepare for better protecting VMs with next-gen server CPUs.

- AMD SEV-SNP upstreaming also looks like it will finally happen for Linux 5.19.

- AMD Branch Sampling "BRS" is being mainlined.

- Sysfs reporting for a device's physical location on the system.

- Improved power management for Arc Graphics by way of an ASPM quirk.

- Lots of early bring-up work for AMD Radeon RDNA3 GPUs launching later this year.

- There is also ongoing work for AMD's next-gen CDNA Instinct accelerator.

- AMDGPU DRM buddy allocator support.

- Rockchip VOP2 DRM driver is being introduced for handling the display controller on newer Rockchip SoCs.

- Display Stream Compression and other improvements for the Qualcomm MSM DRM driver.

- ASpeed AST2600 BMC support for DisplayPort.

- MediaTek MT8186 display enablement as part of the MediaTek DRM updates.

- NVMe storage support for Apple M1 hardware.

- Apple eFUSE driver as another Asahi Linux bring-up effort for the Apple M1 hardware.

- Keychron C-Series/K-Series keyboards will behave better with a HID-Apple change in Linux 5.19.

- A driver for the Raspberry Pi SEnse HAT Joystick.

- Better support for the Lenovo ThinkPad TrackPoint Keyboard II.

- Thunderbolt/USB4 XDomain lane bonding for faster performance when connecting two Intel Alder Lake systems via Thunderbolt.

- Better handling of Thunderbolt displays that are daisy chained to Apple hardware.

- Intel IPI virtualization is ready for this next kernel for better handling of inter-process interrupts with lower overhead.

- RISC-V is preparing a COMPAT mode for handling 32-bit RISC-V user-space applications on 64-bit kernels, kexec_file load support, support for the Supervisor-Mode: Page-Based Memory Type extension, an "alternative" framework for run-time patching of out-of-spec hardware, and more.

- Support for setting the hostname via a kernel boot option.

- FAT file creation/birth time reporting via statx().

- Btrfs RAID 5/6 sub-page support is ready.

- A few improvements to ZoneFS.

- A big performance improvement for exFAT when zeroing a cluster.

- Restructuring of the Xilinx Solarflare network driver to prepare moving "Siena" support off to its own module for that older generation IP.

- NVIDIA Mellanox SN4800 modular switch support.

- A new thermal library and temperature capture tool is being added to the kernel tree.

- Intel Idle driver support for Alder Lake.

- Support for initiating firmware updates via sysfs.

- A Linux driver for the Google Hangouts Meet Speakermic to deal with mute button issues.

- The Arm Scalable Matrix Extension support within the kernel.

- Zstd-compressed firmware is finally happening.

- A much more capable virtual Motorola M68k machine target that allows for more RAM and other capabilities.

- Aquacomputer OCTO fan controller support.

- Silicon Labs' "WFX" WiFi driver is promoted out of the kernel's staging area.

It's also possible we could see MGLRU (Multi-Gen LRU) and LoongArch CPU support mainlined but at the moment those appear to be less than certain.

Stay tuned to Phoronix for more coverage during the Linux 5.19 merge window and after that I'll be getting underway with the usual Linux 5.19 kernel benchmarking.
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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, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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