BPF timers in Intel additions lead networking changes with Linux 5.15

Network subsystem updates for the recently opened Linux 5.15 merge window have arrived.

Some of the work that excites me with the networking changes in Linux 5.15 include:

– Support for BPF timers as well as a variety of other BPF enhancements.

– Initial support for new Intel “Bz” WiFi hardware to IWLWIFI. The Intel IWLWIFI driver now also supports scanning for hidden 6 GHz networks.

– On Intel’s wired side, there is initial support for Lunar Lake with their e1000e driver.

– The Intel Gigabit Ethernet IGC driver also now supports Credit-Based Shaper (CBS) offload for prioritizing hardware traffic and reserving bandwidth. This IGC driver support works with Intel hardware at least the i225 controller.

– Support for MCTP as a management component transport protocol. The transport protocol for the management components is defined by the Distributed Management Working Group for communication between the affected controllers and their devices. MCTP can work with buses such as PCI Express, USB, I2C, SMBus and others while being relevant not only for servers but also for on-board devices. Intel network adapters have been among the devices supporting MCTP over PCI Express for a number of years.

– Addition of LiteETH network driver as part of LiteX work for FPGA cores.

– The Renesas “RAVB” driver supports Gigabit Ethernet IP.

– Open vSwitch more scalable and reliable.

– Xen netfront code has been hardened against malicious back-ends.

A full list of networking feature changes for Linux 5.15 can be found at this draw request which a few hours ago was successfully merged with the mainnet.

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