The "Catch-All" Driver Subsystem Changes Sent In For Linux 5.5
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 30 November 2019 at 12:24 AM EST. Add A Comment
LINUX KERNEL --
Greg Kroah-Hartman sent in the char/misc changes earlier this week and were already merged for Linux 5.5.

In the pull request Greg commented, "Here is the big set of char/misc and other driver patches for 5.5-rc1 Loads of different things in here, this feels like the catch-all of driver subsystems these days." Indeed, char/misc these days is a random smothering of work. There had been talk previously of spinning out portions like a proposed hardware accelerator subsystem but as it stands now no major splits to char/misc but it just continues increasing in scope.

Some of the char/misc changes for Linux 5.5 consist of:

- Ice Lake and Tiger Lake support added to the Intel Trace Hub (intel_th) driver.

- A new Qualcomm Interconnect driver for Network-on-Chip MSM8974-based platforms. The driver sets the bandwidth requirements between different network-on-chip fabrics and other functionality.

- Thunderbolt code now exposes the generation of the Thunderbolt controller in the devices and that's exposed to user-space via sysfs. The primary purpose of this patch is being able to differentiate in user-space between Thunderbolt and USB4 connected devices.

- Also on the Thunderbolt side is the Thunderbolt 3 software connection manager work for helping to improve Apple hardware support on Linux.

- A new PHY driver for USB3 on the Allwinner H6 SoC.

- The EEPROM driver has been officially deprecated. Instead users should be running at "at24" kernel driver that already handles most I2C EEPROM functionality.

- New driver additions around the ASpeed AST2600.

- Habana Labs preparing for future ASIC support with their AI accelerator chips.

- Various SoundWire improvements.

More of the char/misc changes can be found via the PR.
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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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