Linux 6.8 released, Bootlin contributions

The Linux 6.8 kernel has been released on March 10 by Linus Torvalds. As usual, we definitely recommend the coverage by LWN of the merge window for this release cycle to get a good grasp on the most important new features: first half and second half. Some work from Bootlin is briefly mentioned in those articles, such as the support for Lantiq PEF2256 (FALC56) framers, Lantiq PEF2256 (FALC56) pin controllers, and Techwell TW9900 video decoders.

With a total of 135 commits contributed by Bootlin engineers during this release cycle, we have been much more active than for the previous 6.7 release. This allows Bootlin to show in the recently published Development statistics for 6.8, as the 17th contributing company by number of commits, and 13th contributing company by number of changed lines.

Extract from
Linux 6.8 development statistics from LWN

Here is a high-level overview of our contributions to Linux 6.8:

  • Alexandre Belloni, RTC subsystem maintainer made a few small changes to various RTC drivers, and as the I3C subsystem maintainer, did a small update to the documentation regarding the hotjoin sysfs entry
  • Grégory Clement fixed an issue in the Marvell Armada 8K cpufreq driver, as well as an issue in the MIPS early decompression code. We will have more patches coming in Linux 6.9, with the enabling of a new MIPS64 platform.
  • Hervé Codina contributed a brand new subsystem called the framer subsystem, which is part of the networking stack and allows to support framers, which are components typically connected to a TDM bus, and that convert TDM frames to/from E1/T1
    frames. Together with this, he contributed a driver for the Lantic/Infineon PEF2256. The driver has a pinctrl part and a part that fits within the new framer subsystem. Hervé also contributed some improvements to the previously contributed drivers/soc/fsl/qe/qmc.c driver, to prepare the addition of HDLC support using the Freescale QMC IP block found in PowerPC 32-bit processors.
  • Köry Maincent contributed an improvement to the Linux kernel networking stack that allows to select which part of the hardware does PTP timestamping. So far, when the PTP timestamping was offloaded to hardware, it was always the Ethernet MAC that was doing it if available, or the Ethernet PHY otherwise, but it wasn’t selectable at run-time. Köry’s work makes this more flexible by offering an ethtool interface to enumerate available PTP clocks and select the one to use for timestamping. However, after being merged, a part of the series got reverted, not because it introduced regressions, but because some maintainers raised some concern that they wanted a more flexible way of selecting which hardware component does the timestamping. Köry is already working on these comments and will be sending a new iteration soon.
  • Köry Maincent also submitted a number of fixes for the dw-edma driver, which were discovered as part of the development of a driver for a custom FPGA IP, accessed over PCIe, which integrates the dw-edma.
  • Luca Ceresoli contributed some documentation fixes, as well as a small fix for the lm75 hwmon driver.
  • Maxime Chevallier saw his patch series adding support for PHY topologies and enumeration merged by networking maintainer Dave Miller, but it was later reverted, also not because it caused regressions, but because other networking maintainers wanted more time to review it in more details. So in fact, this code is not in the final Linux 6.8, but we hope to see it merged soon.
  • Mehdi Djait contributed a driver for the TW9900 PAL/NTSC video decoder, which fits in the Video4Linux subsystem. This was based on earlier work from Maxime Chevallier, and finally pushed upstream.
  • Miquèl Raynal contributed many changes to the 802.15.4 Linux stack, mainly to add support for device association
  • Miquèl also contributed a sysfs interface to the NVMEM subsystem, which allows to access the contents of NVMEM cells from sysfs
  • Miquèl contributed some fixes to the xdma dmaengine driver, to which he added support for cyclic DMA transfers
  • Miquèl also contributed some fixes in the MTD subsystem to address some issues after he introduced support for continuous reads for parallel NAND flash memories
  • Paul Kocialkowksi contributed a few fixes in various Video4Linux drivers
  • Romain Gantois contributed a fix in the stmmac driver
  • As part of his work on the power management support for the TI J7200 processor, Thomas Richard contributed a small change to the pinctrl-single driver, so that it behaves properly upon suspend/resume for the J7200 processor
  • As part of his work to support Mobileye SoCs in Linux, Théo Lebrun contributed improvements to the AMBA PL011 UART driver, and to the Cadence QSPI driver.
  • Théo also fixed an issue in one of the numerous macros offered by the Linux kernel clock subsystem

In addition to those contributions authored by us, several of our engineers are also maintainers in the Linux kernel, and therefore review and merged contributions from others. For this release cycle:

  • Alexandre Belloni, maintainer of the RTC and I3C subsystems, reviewed and merged 36 patches from other contributors
  • Grégory Clement, maintainer of the Marvell EBU platforms, reviewed and merged 11 patches from other contributors
  • Miquèl Raynal, co-maintainer of the MTD subsystem and IEEE 802.15.4 subsystem, reviewed and merged 19 patches from other contributors

Here are the full details of our contributions to Linux 6.8:

Author: Thomas Petazzoni

Thomas Petazzoni is Bootlin's co-owner and CEO. Thomas joined Bootlin in 2008 as a kernel and embedded Linux engineer, became CTO in 2013, and co-owner/CEO in 2021. More details...

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