Qualcomm to offer Linux kernel support for Snapdragon X Elite chips

Qualcomm Company reported on the work to transfer changes to the main Linux kernel that provide support for ARM SoC Snapdragon X Elite, which uses Qualcomm's own 12-core Oryon CPU and Qualcomm Adreno GPU. The chip is aimed at use in laptops and PCs, and ahead according to many performance tests, Apple M3 and Intel Core Ultra 155H chips. The first devices based on Snapdragon X Elite are expected in the middle of the year and will be equipped with the Windows platform. The changes published by Qualcomm provide the ability to use Linux on these devices.

Some of the changes prepared for the Linux kernel have already been adopted into releases 6.8 and 6.9, and the remaining features are planned for inclusion in kernels 6.10 and 6.11. Among the features already included in the core, support for the sound system, reference board (CRD/QCP), PCIe/eDP/USB, SSD-NVMe over PCIe, Pinctrl (TLMM), timers (GCC/RPMHCC), SMMU, power management mechanisms, QUP is noted (SPI/I2C/UART), system cache, PMC8380 PMIC, DWC3 and ADSP/CDSP. Kernel 6.10 and 6.11 are expected to support GPU, USB host, display controller (eDP), DCVS memory, dynamic frequency control mechanism (CPUFreq), battery, interfaces for connecting external screens, sleep mode, camera and capabilities for accelerating video decoding.


In addition to patches for the Linux kernel, together with Lenovo, Arm and Linaro are developing DtbLoader driver for UEFI firmware based on the TianoCore EDK2 open platform, a Grub-based bootloader and scripts for creating your own Debian builds for some devices based on the Snapdragon X Elite SoC, as well as existing SoCs. Among the laptops that support Linux booting are Lenovo Yoga C630 (Snapdragon 850), Lenovo Flex 5G (Snapdragon 8cx Gen 1) and Lenovo ThinkPad X13s (Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3). The bootloader supports dual booting of Windows and Linux.

Plans for the next six months include adding support for hardware acceleration of video decoding to Firefox and Chrome, implementing camera support based on the libcamera-SoftISP stack, optimizing GPU and CPU performance, and optimizing tools for managing energy consumption. Also mentioned is the inclusion of firmware in the Linux-firmware set and support for the use of Ubuntu and Debian installers.

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