Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 gains upstream Linux support

Linaro has announced upstream Linux support for the newly released Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 mobile platform also codenamed SM8650. The patchsets enable Android 14 AOSP to boot with mainline Linux on Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 hardware using Google SwiftShader CPU-based implementation of the Vulkan graphics API.

While there is a lot of buzz around the announcement of the Snapdragon X Elite 12-core Arm processor for laptops in recent days, Qualcomm also introduced its latest premium processor with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 Mobile Platform for mobile phones featuring a 3.3 GHz Cortex-X4 core, five Cortex A720 Performance cores, and two Cortex A520 efficiency cores, as well as support for generative AI through AI accelerators. The announcement was made on October 25, and Linaro released the patchsets to the Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML) on the same day.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen3 Android 14 upstream Linux

Android devices are often stuck to an older Linux kernel for their entire lifecycle even after firmware updates, but support for upstream Linux may ultimately change that, although some features are yet to be implemented and for instance, AOSP won’t support 3D graphics acceleration with mainline Linux at this time.

Here’s what works right now:

  • Qualcomm Kryo CPUs, including DVFS (Dynamic voltage and frequency scaling) and Power Management
  • Clocks, Power controllers, PMICs
  • Storage – UFS 4.0, SDXC
  • Qualcomm Hexagon Processor SubSystems – Audio, Sensors, Compute and Modem
  • Mobile Display Subsystem + DSI Engine, Touch Controller
  • Wireless – WCN7850 Bluetooth
  • High-Speed peripherals with PCIe Gen3 and Gen4, USB Version 3.1 Gen 2, USB-C PD
  • Low-Speed I/O including I2C, SPI, RTC, Buttons, LEDs

Additional patches are coming to enable display, audio, and modem use cases. Linaro provides a set of instructions to try out AOSP with upstream Linux for those who get their hand on a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 (SM8650) hardware platform like the devkit above or a phone.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 highlights
Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 highlights
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1 Comment
7 months ago

‘Lifetime’ upgrades are a step closer, perhaps.

From skimming the Android documentation, it still requires a device maker to repackage vendor modules against the GKI kernel for each Android release. 

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