Linux 5.6 Release – Main Changes, Arm, MIPS & RISC-V Architectures

Linux 5.6 Changelog

Linus Torvalds has just announced the release of Linux 5.6 on the Linux Kernel Mailing List: So I’ll admit to vacillating between doing this 5.6 release and doing another -rc. This has a bit more changes than I’d like, but they are mostly from davem’s networking fixes pulls, and David feels comfy with them. And I looked over the diff, and none of it looks scary. It’s just slightly more than I’d have preferred at this stage – not doesn’t really seem worth delaying a release over. So about half the diff from the final week is network driver fixlets, and some minor core networking fixes. Another 20% is tooling – mostly bpf and netfilter selftests (but also some perf work). The rest is “misc” – mostly random drivers (gpio, rdma, input) and DTS files. With a smattering of fixes elsewhere (a couple of afs fixes, some vm fixes, etc). The shortlog is appended, nothing really looks all that exciting, …

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NetBSD 9.0 Released with Aarch64 Support, Arm ServerReady Compatibility

NetBSD 9.0

Yesterday, we wrote about Raspberry Pi 4 getting UEFI+ACPI firmware for Arm SSBR compliance allowing the board to run operating systems designed for “Arm ServerReady” servers out of the box. NetBSD 9.0 was just released on February 14, 2020, with support for Aarch64 (64-bit Arm) which had been in the works for a few years, and includes support for “Arm ServerReady” compliant machines (SBBR+SBSA). NetBSD 9.0 main changes related to hardware support: Support for AArch64 (64-bit Armv8-A) machines Compatibility with “Arm ServerReady” compliant machines (SBBR+SBSA) using ACPI. Tested on Amazon Graviton and Graviton2 (including bare metal instances), AMD Opteron A1100, Ampere eMAG 8180, Cavium ThunderX, Marvell ARMADA 8040, QEMU w/ Tianocore EDK2 Symmetric and asymmetrical multiprocessing support (big.LITTLE) Support for running 32-bit binaries via COMPAT_NETBSD32 on CPUs that support it Single GENERIC64 kernel supports ACPI and device tree based booting Supported SoCs Allwinner A64, H5, H6 Amlogic S905, S805X, S905D, S905W, S905X Broadcom BCM2837 (Raspberry Pi 3B) NVIDIA Tegra X1 …

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Linux 5.5 Release – Main Changes, Arm, MIPS and RISC-V Architectures

Linux 5.5 Changelog

Linux 5.5 has just been released by Linus Torvalds: So this last week was pretty quiet, and while we had a late network update with some (mainly iwl wireless) network driver and netfilter module loading fixes, David didn’t think that warranted another -rc. And outside of that, it’s really been very quiet indeed – there’s a panfrost driver update too, but again it didn’t really seem to make sense to delay the final release by another week. Outside of those, it’s all really tiny, even if some of those tiny changes touched some core files. So despite the slight worry that the holidays might have affected the schedule, 5.5 ended up with the regular rc cadence and is out now. That means that the merge window for 5.6 will open tomorrow, and I already have a couple of pull requests pending. The timing for this next merge window isn’t optimal for me – I have some travel and other things …

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Year 2019 in Review – Top 10 Posts and Stats

Happy New Year 2020

2019 is closing to an end, or you may already be into 2020 while reading this post. In any case, that means it’s time to look back at 2019 and look forward to the events and new products to take place next year. While 2018 was a boring year for new processors, 2019 brought us some interesting new chips such as Amlogic S922X / A311D, or the first Arm Cortex-A55 only processors such as Amlogic S905X3. Rockchip RK3399Pro was promising when it was announced last year, but it never really took off. It was a pretty quiet year for Allwinner as well. RISC-V architecture has been ramping up with the first general-purpose RISC-V MCU: GD32V, WCH CH572 Bluetooth LE MCU, the launch of more SiFive RISC-V cores, and Kendryte K210 RISC-V AI processor announced last year has found its way into more and more boards. There have also been the usual launches of mobile Arm processors from Qualcomm, Samsung, and …

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Linux 5.4 Release – Main Changes, Arm, MIPS & RISC-V Architectures

Linux 5.4 Changelog

Linus Torvalds has just announced the release of Linux 5.4: Not a lot happened this last week, which is just how I like it. And as expected, most of the pull requests I got were for the 5.5 merge window, which I’ll obviously start working through tomorrow. What little there is here is mostly some networking updates (mix of network drivers and core networking), and some minor GPU driver updates. Other than that it’s a small collection of random other things all over. The appended shortlog is small enough that you might as well just scroll through it. Anyway, this obviously opens the merge window for 5.5. It’s not ideal timing with Thanksgiving week coming up, but it hopefully shouldn’t be too much of an issue. If I fall behind (not because I’m all that big of a fan of the indiscriminate and relentless turkey-killing holiday) it’s because we’ve got all three kids back for the holiday, and I might …

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Samsung Exynos 990 SoC, 5G Exynos Modem 5123 Leverage 7nm-EUV Process

Samsung Exynos 990

Samsung Electronics has announced two silicon products manufactured using a 7-nm process and extreme ultra-violet (EUV) technology with namely Exynos 990 mobile processor for premium smartphones, and 5G Exynos Modem 5123. Samsung Exynos 990 Preliminary specifications: CPU – Octa-core, tri-cluster CPU structure 2x Exynos M5 custom cores 2x high-performance Cortex-A76 cores 4x power-efficient Cortex-A55 cores GPU – Arm Mali-G77MP11 GPU with Valhall architecture AI Accelerators – Dual-core neural processing unit (NPU) and digital signal processor (DSP) that can perform over 10 TOPS Memory I/F – LPDDR5 data rates of up to 5,500 Mbit/s Display – 120Hz refresh-rate display driver Camera – Up to 108MP in total thanks to an ISP that supports up to 6x image sensors with concurrent processing of three Media – 8K30 / 4K120 encode & decode of H.265/HEVC, H.264, VP9 The GPU is said to improve graphic performance or power efficiency by up to 20 percent, and the new processor enabled a 20 percent system performance …

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Samsung Exynos 9611 SoC Targets AI Powered Smartphones with a Pro-grade Camera

Samsung Exynos 9611

Silicon vendors are all launching new mobile processors with “advanced AI capabilities”, and Samsung has just announced another one of those processors with Exynos 9611 that upgrades on Exynos 9610 introduced last year. The company claims “the Exynos 9611 mobile processor brings intelligent performance for the next-generation experiences from artificial intelligent applications to pro-grade camera”, but I’m actually unable to find any differences between the two processors, except the Cortex-A53 cluster’s  maximum frequency has been boosted to 1.7 GHz instead of 1.6 GHz, and possibly support for 64MP single cameras. Exynos 9611 key features and specifications: CPU – Up to 2.3GHz quad-core Cortex-A73 cluster and up to 1.7GHz quad-core Cortex-A53 cluster. GPU – Mali-G72 MP3 Memory – LPDDR4x Storage – UFS 2.1, eMMC 5.1 Display – Up to WQXGA (2560×1600) Camera – 24MP single camera (up to 64MP),  16+16MP dual camera Video – 4K UHD 120fps encoding and decoding with HEVC(H.265) and H.264, and decoding with VP9 LTE Modem – …

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Linux 5.3 Release – Main Changes, Arm, MIPS & RISC-V Architectures

Linux 5.3 Changelog

Linus Torvalds has just announced the release of Linux 5.3: So we’ve had a fairly quiet last week, but I think it was good that we ended up having that extra week and the final rc8. Even if the reason for that extra week was my travel schedule rather than any pending issues, we ended up having a few good fixes come in, including some for some bad btrfs behavior. Yeah, there’s some unnecessary noise in there too (like the speling fixes), but we also had several last-minute reverts for things that caused issues. One _particularly_ last-minute revert is the top-most commit (ignoring the version change itself) done just before the release, and while it’s very annoying, it’s perhaps also instructive. What’s instructive about it is that I reverted a commit that wasn’t actually buggy. In fact, it was doing exactly what it set out to do, and did it very well. In fact it did it _so_ well that …

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