Earlier this month, Free Electrons engineer Alexandre Belloni posted a patch series (in its second version) adding initial support for Microsemi Ocelot SoCs, the VSC7513 and VSC7514. These SoCs are used for switches, so the biggest part of the chip is a switch fabric, built around a MIPS core and a few basic peripherals. While Free Electrons generally works on ARM platforms and has contributed support for numerous ARM processors in the Linux kernel, for this project we are contributing the support for a MIPS processor.
Alexandre’s initial patch series contains the basic support for the SoC:
All in all, this patch series only adds support to boot the platform up to a shell, with interrupts, pin-muxing, GPIOs and UARTs enabled. Additional features will be contributed later, especially support for the switch fabric in the form of a switchdev driver.
We are happy to be working on Microsemi platforms, and to bring the support for yet another hardware platform to the official Linux kernel.
According to Linux Kernel Patch statistics, Free Electrons contributed 111 patches to this release, making it the 24th contributing company by number of commits: a somewhat lower than usual contribution level from our side. At least, Free Electrons cannot be blamed for trying to push more code into 4.14 because of its Long Term Support nature! 🙂
The main highlights of our contributions are:
On the RTC subsystem, Alexandre Belloni made as usual a number of fixes and improvements to various drivers, especially the ds1307 driver.
On the NAND subsystem, Boris Brezillon did a number of small improvements in various areas.
On the support for Marvell platforms
Antoine Ténart improved the ppv2 network driver used by the Marvell Armada 7K/8K SoCs: support for 10G speed and TSO support are the main highlights. In order to support 10G speed, Antoine added a driver in drivers/phy/ to configure the common PHYs in the Armada 7K/8K SoCs.
Thomas Petazzoni also improved the ppv2 network driver by adding support for TX interrupts and per-CPU RX interrupts.
Grégory Clement contributed some patches to enable NAND support on Armada 7K/8K, as well as a number of fixes in different areas (GPIO fix, clock handling fixes, etc.)
Miquèl Raynal contributed a fix for the Armada 3700 SPI controller driver.
On the support for Allwinner platforms
Maxime Ripard contributed the support for a new board, the BananaPI M2-Magic. Maxime also contributed a few fixes to the Allwinner DRM driver, and a few other misc fixes (clock, MMC, RTC, etc.).
Quentin Schulz contributed the support for the power button functionality of the AXP221 (PMIC used in several Allwinner platforms)
On the support for Atmel platforms, Quentin Schulz improved the clock drivers for this platform to properly support the Audio PLL, which allowed to fix the Atmel audio drivers. He also fixed suspend/resume support in the Atmel MMC driver to support the deep sleep mode of the SAMA5D2 processor.
In addition to making direct contributions, Free Electrons is also involved in the Linux kernel development by having a number of its engineers act as Linux kernel maintainers. As part of this effort, Free Electrons engineers have reviewed, merged and sent pull requests for a large number of contributions from other developers:
Boris Brezillon, as the NAND subsystem maintainer and MTD subsystem co-maintainer, merged 68 patches from other developers.
Alexandre Belloni, as the RTC subsystem maintainer and Atmel ARM platform co-maintainer, merged 32 patches from other developers.
Grégory Clement, as the Marvell ARM platform co-maintainer, merged 29 patches from other developers.
Maxime Ripard, as the Allwinner ARM platform co-maintainer, merged 18 patches from other developers.
This release gathers 13006 non-merge commits, amongst which 239 were made by Free Electrons engineers. According to the LWN article on 4.13 statistics, this makes Free Electrons the 13th contributing company by number of commits, the 10th by lines changed.
The most important contributions from Free Electrons for this release have been:
In the RTC subsystem
Alexandre Belloni introduced a new method for registering RTC devices, with one step for the allocation, and one step for the registration itself, which allows to solve race conditions in a number of drivers.
Alexandre Belloni added support for exposing the non-volatile memory found in some RTC devices through the Linux kernel nvmem framework, making them usable from userspace. A few drivers were changed to use this new mechanism.
In the MTD/NAND subsystem
Boris Brezillon did a large number of fixes and minor improvements in the NAND subsystem, both in the core and in a few drivers.
Thomas Petazzoni contributed the support for on-die ECC, specifically with Micron NANDs. This allows to use the ECC calculation capabilities of the NAND chip itself, as opposed to using software ECC (calculated by the CPU) or ECC done by the NAND controller.
Thomas Petazzoni contributed a few improvements to the FSMC NAND driver, used on ST Spear platforms. The main improvement is to support the ->setup_data_interface() callback, which allows to configure optimal timings in the NAND controller.
Support for Allwinner ARM platforms
Alexandre Belloni improved the sun4i PWM driver to use the so-called atomic API and support hardware read out.
Antoine Ténart improved the sun4i-ss cryptographic engine driver to support the Allwinner A13 processor, in addition to the already supported A10.
Maxime Ripard contributed HDMI support for the Allwinner A10 processor (in the DRM subsystem) and a number of related changes to the Allwinner clock support.
Quentin Schulz improved the support for battery charging through the AXP20x PMIC, used on Allwinner platforms.
Support for Atmel ARM platforms
Alexandre Belloni added suspend/resume support for the Atmel SAMA5D2 clock driver. This is part of a larger effort to implement the backup mode for the SAMA5D2 processor.
Alexandre Belloni added suspend/resume support in the tcb_clksrc driver, used as for clocksource and clockevents on Atmel SAMA5D2.
Alexandre Belloni cleaned up a number of drivers, removing support for non-DT probing, which is possible now that the AVR32 architecture has been dropped. Indeed, the AVR32 processors used to share the same drivers as the Atmel ARM processors.
Alexandre Belloni added the core support for the backup mode on Atmel SAMA5D2, a suspend/resume state with significant power savings.
Boris Brezillon switched Atmel platforms to use the new binding for the EBI and NAND controllers.
Boris Brezillon added support for timing configuration in the Atmel NAND driver.
Quentin Schulz added suspend/resume support to the Bosch m_can driver, used on Atmel platforms.
Support for Marvell ARM platforms
Antoine Ténart contributed a completely new driver (3200+ lines of code) for the Inside Secure EIP197 cryptographic engine, used in the Marvell Armada 7K and 8K processors. He also subsequently contributed a number of fixes and improvements for this driver.
Antoine Ténart improved the existing mvmdio driver, used to communicate with Ethernet PHYs over MDIO on Marvell platforms to support the XSMI variant found on Marvell Armada 7K/8K, used to communicate with 10G capable PHYs.
Antoine Ténart contributed minimal support for 10G Ethernet in the mvpp2 driver, used on Marvell Armada 7K/8K. For now, the driver still relies on low-level initialization done by the bootloader, but additional changes in 4.14 and 4.15 will remove this limitation.
Grégory Clement added a new pinctrl driver to configure the pin-muxing on the Marvell Armada 37xx processors.
Grégory Clement did a large number of changes to the clock drivers used on the Marvell Armada 7K/8K processors to prepare the addition of pinctrl support.
Grégory Clement added support for Marvell Armada 7K/8K to the existing mvebu-gpio driver.
Thomas Petazzoni added support for the ICU, a specialized interrupt controller used on the Marvell Armada 7K/8K, for all devices located in the CP110 part of the processor.
Thomas Petazzoni removed a work-around to properly resume per-CPU interrupts on the older Marvell Armada 370/XP platforms.
Support for RaspberryPi platforms
Boris Brezillon added runtime PM support to the HDMI encoder driver used on RaspberryPi platforms, and contributed a few other fixes to the VC4 DRM driver.
Free Electrons engineers are not only contributors, but also maintainers of various subsystems in the Linux kernel, which means they are involved in the process of reviewing, discussing and merging patches contributed to those subsystems:
Maxime Ripard, as the Allwinner platform co-maintainer, merged 113 patches from other contributors
Boris Brezillon, as the MTD/NAND maintainer, merged 62 patches from other contributors
Alexandre Belloni, as the RTC maintainer and Atmel platform co-maintainer, merged 57 patches from other contributors
Grégory Clement, as the Marvell EBU co-maintainer, merged 47 patches from other contributors
Here is the commit by commit detail of our contributors to 4.13:
At the end of 2016, the MIPI consortium has finalized the first version of its I3C specification, a new communication bus that aims at replacing older busses like I2C or SPI. According to the specification, I3C gets closer to SPI data rate while requiring less pins and adding interesting mechanisms like in-band interrupts, hotplug capability or automatic discovery of devices connected on the bus. In addition, I3C provides backward compatibility with I2C: I3C and legacy I2C devices can be connected on a common bus controlled by an I3C master.
For more details about I3C, we suggest reading the MIPI I3C Whitepaper, as unfortunately MIPI has not publicly released the specifications for this protocol.
For the last few months, Free Electrons engineer Boris Brezillon has been working with Cadence to develop a Linux kernel subsystem to support this new bus, as well as Cadence’s I3C master controller IP. We have now posted the first version of our patch series to the Linux kernel mailing list for review, and we already received a large number of very useful comments from the kernel community.
Free Electrons is proud to be pioneering the support for this new bus in the Linux kernel, and hopes to see other developers contribute to this subsystem in the near future!
Linus Torvalds has released the 4.12 Linux kernel a week ago, in what is the second biggest kernel release ever by number of commits. As usual, LWN had a very nice coverage of the major new features and improvements: first part, second part and third part.
LWN has also published statistics about the Linux 4.12 development cycles, showing:
Free Electrons as the #14 contributing company by number of commits, with 221 commits, between Broadcom (230 commits) and NXP (212 commits)
Free Electrons as the #14 contributing company number of changed lines, with 16636 lines changed, just two lines less than Mellanox
Free Electrons engineer and MTD NAND maintainer Boris Brezillon as the #17 most active contributor by number of lines changed.
Our most important contributions to this kernel release have been:
On Atmel AT91 and SAMA5 platforms:
Alexandre Belloni has continued to upstream the support for the SAMA5D2 backup mode, which is a very deep suspend to RAM state, offering very nice power savings. Alexandre touched the core code in arch/arm/mach-at91 as well as pinctrl and irqchip drivers
Boris Brezillon has converted the Atmel PWM driver to the atomic API of the PWM subsystem, implemented suspend/resume and did a number of fixes in the Atmel display controller driver, and also removed the no longer used AT91 Parallel ATA driver.
Quentin Schulz improved the suspend/resume hooks in the atmel-spi driver to support the SAMA5D2 backup mode.
On Allwinner platforms:
Mylène Josserand has made a number of improvements to the sun8i-codec audio driver that she contributed a few releases ago.
Maxime Ripard added devfreq support to dynamically change the frequency of the GPU on the Allwinner A33 SoC.
Quentin Schulz added battery charging and ADC support to the X-Powers AXP20x and AXP22x PMICs, found on Allwinner platforms.
Quentin Schulz added a new IIO driver to support the ADCs found on numerous Allwinner SoCs.
Quentin Schulz added support for the Allwinner A33 built-in thermal sensor, and used it to implement thermal throttling on this platform.
On Marvell platforms:
Antoine Ténart contributed Device Tree changes to describe the cryptographic engines found in the Marvell Armada 7K and 8K SoCs. For now only the Device Tree description has been merged, the driver itself will arrive in Linux 4.13.
Grégory Clement has contributed a pinctrl and GPIO driver for the Marvell Armada 3720 SoC (Cortex-A53 based)
Grégory Clement has improved the Device Tree description of the Marvell Armada 3720 and Marvell Armada 7K/8K SoCs and corresponding evaluation boards: SDHCI and RTC are now enabled on Armada 7K/8K, USB2, USB3 and RTC are now enabled on Armada 3720.
Thomas Petazzoni made a significant number of changes to the mvpp2 network driver, finally adding support for the PPv2.2 version of this Ethernet controller. This allowed to enable network support on the Marvell Armada 7K/8K SoCs.
Thomas Petazzoni contributed a number of fixes to the mv_xor_v2dmaengine driver, used for the XOR engines on the Marvell Armada 7K/8K SoCs.
Thomas Petazzoni cleaned-up the MSI support in the Marvell pci-mvebu and pcie-aardvark PCI host controller drivers, which allowed to remove a no-longer used MSI kernel API.
On the ST SPEAr600 platform:
Thomas Petazzoni added support for the ADC available on this platform, by adding its Device Tree description and fixing a clock driver bug
Thomas did a number of small improvements to the Device Tree description of the SoC and its evaluation board
Thomas cleaned up the fsmc_nand driver, which is used for the NAND controller driver on this platform, removing lots of unused code
In the MTD NAND subsystem:
Boris Brezillon implemented a mechanism to allow vendor-specific initialization and detection steps to be added, on a per-NAND chip basis. As part of this effort, he has split into multiple files the vendor-specific initialization sequences for Macronix, AMD/Spansion, Micron, Toshiba, Hynix and Samsung NANDs. This work will allow in the future to more easily exploit the vendor-specific features of different NAND chips.
Maxime Ripard added a display panel driver for the ST7789V LCD controller
In addition, several Free Electrons engineers are also maintainers of various kernel subsystems. During this release cycle, they reviewed and merged a number of patches from kernel contributors:
Maxime Ripard, as the Allwinner co-maintainer, merged 94 patches
Boris Brezillon, as the NAND maintainer and MTD co-maintainer, merged 64 patches
Alexandre Belloni, as the RTC maintainer and Atmel co-maintainer, merged 38 patches
Grégory Clement, as the Marvell EBU co-maintainer, merged 32 patches
The details of all our contributions for this release:
With 137 patches contributed, Free Electrons is the 18th contributing company according to the Kernel Patch Statistics. Free Electrons engineer Maxime Ripard appears in the list of top contributors by changed lines in the LWN statistics.
Our most important contributions to this release have been:
Support for Atmel platforms
Alexandre Belloni improved suspend/resume support for the Atmel watchdog driver, I2C controller driver and UART controller driver. This is part of a larger effort to upstream support for the backup mode of the Atmel SAMA5D2 SoC.
Alexandre Belloni also improved the at91-poweroff driver to properly shutdown LPDDR memories.
Boris Brezillon contributed a fix for the Atmel HLCDC display controller driver, as well as fixes for the atmel-ebi driver.
Support for Allwinner platforms
Boris Brezillon contributed a number of improvements to the sunxi-nand driver.
Mylène Josserand contributed a new driver for the digital audio codec on the Allwinner sun8i SoC, as well a the corresponding Device Tree changes and related fixes. Thanks to this driver, Mylène enabled audio support on the R16 Parrot and A33 Sinlinx boards.
Maxime Ripard contributed numerous improvements to the sunxi-mmc MMC controller driver, to support higher data rates, especially for the Allwinner A64.
Maxime Ripard contributed official Device Tree bindings for the ARM Mali GPU, which allows the GPU to be described in the Device Tree of the upstream kernel, even if the ARM kernel driver for the Mali will never be merged upstream.
Maxime Ripard contributed a number of fixes for the rtc-sun6i driver.
Maxime Ripard enabled display support on the A33 Sinlinx board, by contributing a panel driver and the necessary Device Tree changes.
Maxime Ripard continued his clean-up effort, by converting the GR8 and sun5i clock drivers to the sunxi-ng clock infrastructure, and converting the sun5i pinctrl driver to the new model.
Quentin Schulz added a power supply driver for the AXP20X and AXP22X PMICs used on numerous Allwinner platforms, as well as numerous Device Tree changes to enable it on the R16 Parrot and A33 Sinlinx boards.
Support for Marvell platforms
Grégory Clement added support for the RTC found in the Marvell Armada 7K and 8K SoCs.
Grégory Clement added support for the Marvell 88E6141 and 88E6341 Ethernet switches, which are used in the Armada 3700 based EspressoBin development board.
Romain Perier enabled the I2C controller, SPI controller and Ethernet switch on the EspressoBin, by contributing Device Tree changes.
Thomas Petazzoni contributed a number of fixes to the OMAP hwrng driver, which turns out to also be used on the Marvell 7K/8K platforms for their HW random number generator.
Thomas Petazzoni contributed a number of patches for the mvpp2 Ethernet controller driver, preparing the future addition of PPv2.2 support to the driver. The mvpp2 driver currently only supports PPv2.1, the Ethernet controller used on the Marvell Armada 375, and we are working on extending it to support PPv2.2, the Ethernet controller used on the Marvell Armada 7K/8K. PPv2.2 support is scheduled to be merged in 4.12.
Support for RaspberryPi platforms
Boris Brezillon contributed Device Tree changes to enable the VEC (Video Encoder) on all bcm283x platforms. Boris had previously contributed the driver for the VEC.
In addition to our direct contributions, a number of Free Electrons engineers are also maintainers of various subsystems in the Linux kernel. As part of this maintenance role:
Maxime Ripard, co-maintainer of the Allwinner ARM platform, reviewed and merged 85 patches from contributors
Alexandre Belloni, maintainer of the RTC subsystem and co-maintainer of the Atmel ARM platform, reviewed and merged 60 patches from contributors
Grégory Clement, co-maintainer of the Marvell ARM platform, reviewed and merged 42 patches from contributors
Boris Brezillon, maintainer of the MTD NAND subsystem, reviewed and merged 8 patches from contributors
Here is the detailed list of contributions, commit per commit:
Boris Brezillon improved the Rockchip PWM driver to avoid glitches basing that work on his previous improvement to the PWM subsystem already merged in the kernel. He also fixed a few issues and shortcomings in the pwm regulator driver. This is finishing his work on the Rockchip based Chromebook platforms where a PWM is used for a regulator.
While working on the driver for the sii902x HDMI transceiver, Boris Brezillon did a cleanup of many DRM drivers. Those drivers were open coding the encoder selection. This is now done in the core DRM subsystem.
On the support of Atmel platforms
Alexandre Belloni cleaned up the existing board device trees, removing unused clock definitions and starting to remove warnings when compiling with the Device Tree Compiler (dtc).
On the support of Allwinner platforms
Maxime Ripard contributed a brand new infrastructure, named sunxi-ng, to manage the clocks of the Allwinner platforms, fixing shortcomings of the Device Tree representation used by the existing implementation. He moved the support of the Allwinner H3 clocks to this new infrastructure.
Maxime also developed a driver for the Allwinner A10 Digital Audio controller, bringing audio support to this platform.
Boris Brezillon improved the Allwinner NAND controller driver to support DMA assisted operations, which brings a very nice speed-up to throughput on platforms using NAND flashes as the storage, which is the case of Nextthing’s C.H.I.P.
Quentin Schulz added support for the Allwinner R16 EVB (Parrot) board.
On the support of Marvell platforms
Grégory Clément added multiple clock definitions for the Armada 37xx series of SoCs.
He also corrected a few issues with the I/O coherency on some Marvell SoCs
Romain Perier worked on the Marvell CESA cryptography driver, bringing significant performance improvements, especially for dmcrypt usage. This driver is used on numerous Marvell platforms: Orion, Kirkwood, Armada 370, XP, 375 and 38x.
Thomas Petazzoni submitted a driver for the Aardvark PCI host controller present in the Armada 3700, enabling PCI support for this platform.
Thomas also added a driver for the new XOR engine found in the Armada 7K and Armada 8K families
Here are in details, the different contributions we made to this release:
Boris Brezillon has contributed a core improvement to the PWM subsystem: a mechanism that allows to update the properties of a PWM in an atomic fashion. This is needed when a PWM has been initialized by the bootloader, and the kernel needs to take over without changing the properties of the PWM. See the main patch for more details. What prompted the creation of this patch series is a problem on Rockchip based Chromebook platforms where a PWM is used for a regulator, and the PWM properties need to be preserved across the bootloader to kernel transition. In addition to the changes of the core infrastructure, Boris contributed numerous patches to fix existing PWM users.
In the MTD subsystem, Boris Brezillon continued his cleanup efforts
Use the common Device Tree parsing code provided by nand_scan_ident() in more drivers, rather than driver-specific code.
Move drivers to expose their ECC/OOB layout information using the mtd_ooblayout_ops structure, and use the corresponding helper functions where appropriate. This change will allow a more flexible description of the ECC and OOB layout.
Document the Device Tree binding that should now be used for all NAND controllers / NAND chip, with a clear separation between the NAND controller and the NAND chip. See this commit for more details.
In the RTC subsystem, Mylène Josserand contributed numerous improvements to the rv3029 and m41t80 drivers, including the addition of the support for the RV3049 (the SPI variant of RV3029). See also our previous blog post on the support of Microcrystal’s RTCs/.
On the support of Atmel platforms
Boris Brezillon contributed a number of fixes and improvements to the atmel-hlcdc driver, the DRM/KMS driver for Atmel platforms
On the support of Allwinner platforms
Maxime Ripard contributed a brand new DRM/KMS driver to support the display controller found on several Allwinner platforms, with a specific focus on Allwinner A10. This new driver allows to have proper graphics support in the Nextthing Co. C.H.I.P platform, including composite output and RGB output for LCD panels. To this effect, in addition to the driver itself, numerous clock patches and Device Tree patches were made.
Boris Brezillon contributed a large number of improvements to the NAND controller driver used on Allwinner platforms, including performance improvements.
Quentin Schulz made his first kernel contribution by sending a patch fixing the error handling in a PHY USB driver used by Allwinner platforms.
On the support of Marvell platforms
Grégory Clement made some contributions to the mv_xor driver to make it 64-bits ready, as the same XOR engine is used on Armada 3700, a Cortex-A53 based SoC. Grégory then enabled the use of the XOR engines on this platform by updating the corresponding Device Tree.
Romain Perier did some minor updates related to the Marvell cryptographic engine support. Many more updates will be present in the upcoming 4.8, including significant performance improvements.
Thomas Petazzoni contributed some various fixes (cryptographic engine usage on some Armada 38x boards, HW I/O coherency related fixes).
Thomas also improved the support for Armada 7K and 8K, with the description of more hardware blocks, and updates to drivers.
Here are in details, the different contributions we made to this release:
The 4.6 version of the Linux kernel was released last Sunday by Linus Torvalds. As usual, LWN.net had a very nice coverage of this development cycle merge window, highlighting the most significant changes and improvements: part 1, part 2 and part 3. KernelNewbies is now active again, and has a very detailed page about this release.
On a total of 13517 non-merge commits, Free Electrons contributed for this release a total of 107 non-merge commits, a number slightly lower than our past contributions for previous kernel releases. That being said, there are still a few interesting contributions in those 107 patches. We are particular happy to see patches from all our eight engineers in this release, including from Mylène Josserand and Romain Perier, who just joined us mid-March! We also already have 194 patches lined-up for the next 4.7 release.
Here are the highlights of our contributions to the 4.6 release:
Atmel ARM processors support
Alexandre Belloni and Boris Brezillon contributed a number of patches to improve and cleanup the support for the PMC (Power Management and Clocks) hardware block. As expected, this involved patching both clock drivers and power management code for the Atmel platforms.
Annapurna Labs Alpine platforms support
As a newly appointed maintainer of the Annapurna Labs ARM/ARM64 Alpine platforms, Antoine Ténart contributed the base support for the ARM64 Alpine v2 platform: base platform support and Device Tree, and an interrupt controller driver to support MSI-X
Marvell ARM processors support
Grégory Clement added initial support for the Armada 3700, a new Cortex-A53 based ARM64 SoC from Marvell, as well as a first development board using this SoC. So far, the supported features are: UART, USB and SATA (as well as of course timers and interrupts).
Thomas Petazzoni added initial support for the Armada 7K/8K, a new Cortex-A72 based ARM64 SoC from Marvell, as well as a first development board using this SoC. So far, UART, I2C, SPI are supported. However, due to the lack of clock drivers, this initial support can’t be booted yet, the clock drivers and additional support is on its way to 4.7.
Thomas Petazzoni contributed an interrupt controller driver for the ODMI interrupt controller found in the Armada 7K/8K SoC.
Grégory Clement and Thomas Petazzoni did a few improvements to the support of Armada 38x. Thomas added support for the NAND flash used on Armada 370 DB and Armada XP DB.
Boris Brezillon contributed a number of fixes to the Marvell CESA driver, which is used to control the cryptographic engine found in most Marvell EBU processors.
Thomas Petazzoni contributed improvements to the irq-armada-370-xp interrupt controller driver, to use the new generic MSI infrastructure.
Allwinner ARM processors support
Maxime Ripard contributed a few improvements to Allwinner clock drivers, and a few other fixes.
MTD and NAND flash subsystem
As a maintainer of the NAND subsystem, Boris Brezillon did a number of contributions in this area. Most notably, he added support for the randomizer feature to the Allwinner NAND driver as well as related core NAND subsystem changes. This change is needed to support MLC NANDs on Allwinner platforms. He also contributed several patches to continue clean up and improve the NAND subsystem.
Thomas Petazzoni fixed an issue in the pxa3xx_nand driver used on Marvell EBU platforms that prevented using some of the ECC configurations (such as 8 bits BCH ECC on 4 KB pages). He also contributed minor improvements to the generic NAND code.
Grégory Clement contributed an extension to the core networking subsystem that allows to take advantage of hardware capable of doing HW-controlled buffer management. This new extension is used by the mvneta network driver, useful for several Marvell EBU platforms. We expect to extend this mechanism further in the future, in order to take advantage of additional hardware capabilities.
As a maintainer of the RTC subsystem, Alexandre Belloni did a number of fixes and improvements in various RTC drivers.
Mylène Josserand contributed a few improvements to the abx80x RTC driver.
Altera NIOSII support
Romain Perier contributed two patches to fix issues in the kernel running on the Altera NIOSII architecture. The first one, covered in a previous blog post, fixed the NIOSII-specific memset() implementation. The other patch fixes a problem in the generic futex code.
In addition, several our of engineers are maintainers of various platforms or subsystems, so they do a lot of work reviewing and merging the contributions from other kernel developers. This effort can be measured by looking at the number of patches on which they Signed-off-by, but for which they are not the author. Here are the number of patches that our engineered Signed-off-by, but for which they were not the author:
Alexandre Belloni, as the RTC subsystem maintainer and the Atmel ARM co-maintainer: 91 patches
Maxime Ripard, as the Allwinner ARM co-maintainer: 65 patches
Grégory Clement, as the Marvell EBU ARM co-maintainer: 45 patches
Thomas Petazzoni, simply resubmitting patches from others: 2 patches
Here is the detailed list of our contributions to the 4.6 kernel release:
Free Electrons engineer Boris Brezillon has been involved in the support for NAND flashes in the Linux kernel for quite some time. He is the author of the NAND driver for the Allwinner ARM processors, did several improvements to the NAND GPMI controller driver, has initiated a significant rework of the NAND subsystem, and is working on supporting MLC NANDs. Boris is also very active on the linux-mtd mailing list by reviewing patches from others, and making suggestions.
For those reasons, Boris was recently appointed by the MTD maintainer Brian Norris as a new maintainer of the NAND subsystem. NAND is considered a sub-subsystem of the MTD subsystem, and as such, Boris will be sending pull requests to Brian, who in turn is sending pull requests to Linus Torvalds. See this commit for the addition of Boris as a NAND maintainer in the MAINTAINERS file. Boris will therefore be in charge of reviewing and merging all the patches touching drivers/mtd/nand/, which consist mainly of NAND drivers. Boris has created a nand/next branch on Github, where he has already merged a number of patches that will be pushed to Brian Norris during the 4.7 merge window.
We are happy to see one of our engineers taking another position as a maintainer in the kernel community. Maxime Ripard was already a co-maintainer of the Allwinner ARM platform support, Alexandre Belloni a co-maintainer of the RTC subsystem and Atmel ARM platform support, Grégory Clement a co-maintainer of the Marvell EBU platform support, and Antoine Ténart a co-maintainer of the Annapurna Labs platform support.