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Linux 5.9: close_range(), Keem Bay, and FSGSBASE

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  • Linux 5.9 Set To Bring "Close_Range" System Call - Coordinated With FreeBSD Developers

    The close_range() system call is intended to allow efficiently closing a range of file descriptors (or all file descriptors) of the calling task. This system call was devised in cooperation with FreeBSD developers. 

    FreeBSD developers merged their compatible close_range system call all the way back in April 2019 while now for Linux 5.9 in August 2020 this system call is deemed ready for inclusion. 

  • Linux 5.9 Adds Intel "Keem Bay" Support, 8 Snapdragon Smartphones, AMD EthanolX BMC, Old Tegra Tablets

    There are many ARM changes coming to Linux 5.9, including support for Intel's Keem Bay. 

    Keem Bay is the Intel SoC by way of their Movidius acquisition that is built for edge AI computing. Keem Bay is a SoC built with Arm Cortex A53 processors and an Intel Movidius VPU. Intel acquired Movidius in 2016 and has continued advancing their low-power, computer vision hardware. Intel published a DRM driver for Keem Bay and other driver changes while the pull request being talked about today is the actual ARM platform enablement. 

    Along with Keem Bay, new Arm SoC families being supported by the mainline Linux 5.9 kernel are Microchip SparX5 and Mediatek Infinity3 / Mercury5. 

  • After 5 Years, FSGSBASE Support Finally Ready For Linux To Enhance AMD/Intel Performance

    The Linux kernel work for making use of the x86_64 FSGSBASE instruction since Intel Ivy Bridge and since then AMD CPUs also is set to finally land with the in-development Linux 5.9 kernel. The FSGSBASE support has the possibility of helping Intel/AMD CPU performance especially in areas like context switching that had been hurt badly by Spectre/Meltdown and other CPU vulnerability mitigations largely on the Intel side. 

    Intel developers started the FSGSBASE Linux support around five years ago but never got through in getting it mainlined. Microsoft's Linux kernel engineer then a few months back decided to take up the work to try to get it mainlined as even Microsoft found value in the performance benefits. 

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