QEMU 9.0 released with Raspberry Pi 4 support and LoongArch KVM acceleration

QEMU 9.0 open-source emulator just came out the other day, and it brings on board major updates and improvements to Arm, RISC-V, HPPA, LoongArch, and s390x emulation. But the most notable updates are in Arm and LoongArch emulation.

QEMU 9.0

The QEMU 9.0 emulator now supports the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B, meaning you can run the 64-bit Raspberry Pi OS for testing applications without owning the hardware. However, QEMU 9.0 has some limitations since Ethernet and PCIe are not supported for the Raspberry Pi board. According to the developers, these features will come on board in a future release. For now, the emulator supports SPI and I2C (BSC) controllers.

Still on ARM, QEMU 9.0 provides board support for the mp3-an536 (MPS3 dev board + AN536 firmware) and B-L475E-IOT01A IoT node, plus architectural feature support for Nested Virtualization, Enhanced Counter Virtualization, and Enhanced Nested Virtualization.

If you develop applications for the LoongArch architecture, QEMU 9.0 supports LoongArch KVM acceleration, including LSX/LASX vector extensions. These two support the architecture’s 128-bit and 256-bit Single Instruction Multiple Data (SIMD) units, respectively.

LoongArch kvm

For RISC-V, this QEMU version adds ISA/extension support for Zacas, RVA22 profiles, amocas, Ztso, and many others. You’ll also get SMBIOS support for the updated RHCT table, RISC-V virtual machine, ACPI support for SRAT, SLIT, AIA, and PLIC, and several other fixes.

HPPA and s390x have received a few updates, which include LAE fixes and emulation support for CVB, CVDG, CVBG, and CVBY instructions for s390x and SeaBIOS firmware update to version 16 for HPPA.

Overall, the QEMU 9.0 release contains over 2,700 commits from 220 authors that improve several other areas, not only the ISA emulations. For instance, the memory backends preallocations will now be handled concurrently using multiple threads, and virtio-blk will now support multiqueue, allowing the different queues of a single disk to be processed by different I/O threads. More details may be found in the announcement.

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