Vortex86 Processor Detection Landing For Linux 5.16
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 23 October 2021 at 12:47 PM EDT. 12 Comments
HARDWARE --
Recently I wrote about Vortex86 processors seeing detection work under Linux for improving the state of these aging x86 32-bit SoCs. That work is now slated to be introduced in the upcoming Linux 5.16 cycle for those running these aging SoCs/processors.

As outlined in the prior article, the motivation for finally having proper Linux kernel detection around Vortex86 processors stems from these in-order processors not being vulnerable to Spectre and Meltdown. However, with current versions of the Linux kernel the Spectre/Meltdown mitigations are applied to these x86 32-bit SoCs for the kernel not knowing that they aren't vulnerable.

Now with Linux 5.16 the Vortex86 processors can be properly identified and those performance-affecting mitigations not applied. This detection can also be used for other DM&P Electronics Vortex86 processor tuning and quirk handling in the future if additional needs arise.


The rather basic addition was added to the x86/cpu tree this week and thus expected to be merged during the upcoming Linux 5.16 merge window in early November.
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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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