Linux 4.6 targets mobile with ARM, touch support

The new kernel also features performance improvements and backing for 13 SoC systems

Linux 4.6 targets mobile with ARM, touch support
Credit: Eduardo Quagliato via Flickr/Creative Commons

Aside from security improvements, version 4.6 of the Linux kernel, released over the weekend, offers enhancements for ARM processors and touchscreens.

Embedded ARM support in the upgrade features backing for 13 SoCs (system on a chip), including systems from Allwinner, LG, Qualcomm, and Broadcomm. WiFi routers, the Nexus 7 smartphone, and the Raspberry Pi nanocomputer, all will have improved support for their boards, according to the Linux Foundation.

Version 4.6's backing for RMI4, the native protocol for Synaptics devices, means better support for touchscreens on a variety of devices.

The foundation also noted the kernel adds performance enhancements and features for 64-bit ARM architecture. The half-precision floating point format for binary numbers is supported as well.

For IBM architecture, the Foundation said support would be forthcoming for Power9 processors. Meanwhile, drivers have been improved for Intel's Skylake processors.

Among other changes, version 4.6 fixes a bug that caused thermal throttling in some Lenovo laptops, according to the foundation. As a result, some users may notice a change in temperature control. Support also has been improved for Dell laptops, including Alienware gaming systems.

The new version corrects an Infiniband interface problem as well. Linux creator Linus Torvalds said earlier this month that few would be affected by this problem anyway, and a workaround had been available.

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