Qualcomm Working On Steady Support For Linux With Snapdragon X Elite SKUs

Qualcomm Working On Steady Support For Linux With Snapdragon X Elite SKUs

In this post, I'll describe my track record in supporting Linux on laptops. Windows on Snapdragon And how it continues with the Snapdragon X Elite. You'll see what's already integrated into the mainline Linux kernel, what's pending, and what's on our roadmap. (This is a summary of our presentation “Linux with Upstream Kernel.”
On the Snapdragon X Elite Compute Platform at the Embedded Open Source Summit. (See below for details and links.)

SoCs with Windows on Snapdragon, with continued Linux support

Collaborating with Lenovo, Arm, and Linaro AArch64 Laptop GitHub project, we have built Linux support into several generations of our SoCs with Windows on Snapdragon. We've made sure you can boot Linux on many laptops powered by our previous generation SoCs. Notable models include the Lenovo Yoga C630 (Snapdragon 850), Lenovo Flex 5G (Snapdragon 8cx Gen 1), and Lenovo ThinkPad X13s (Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3).

It has been our priority to not only support Linux on our premium tier SoCs, but to support it quickly. In fact, within a day or two of publicly announcing each generation of Snapdragon 8, we've posted the initial patch set for Linux kernel support. The Snapdragon X Elite was no exception: we It was announced on October 23. of last year and posted the patch set the next day. This was the result of a lot of previously announced work to get everything up and running on Linux and Debian.

The Snapdragon X Elite is built around custom Qualcomm CPUs called Qualcomm Oryon, with 12 cores, clock speeds up to 3.8 GHz, and single- and dual-core boost up to 4.3 GHz. Its Qualcomm Adreno GPU offers up to 4.6 TFLOPs and its Neural Processing Unit (NPU) provides 45 TOPs for AI workloads. The SOC has received high marks for performance from reviewers. Register, Tom's Guide, Digital trends, GizmochinaAnd thurrott.com.

Boot firmware

The boot stack on the Snapdragon X Elite supports standard UEFI-based boot. Linux boots using device trees, and all standard bootloaders, including grub and system-dboot, should work out of the box. We use grub to boot into Debian, and to dual boot Windows and Debian.

We are working with the upstream communities on an open issue with UEFI-based BIOS when booting to devices. The problem is that when you have multiple device tree blobs (DTB) packed into a flashed firmware package on a device, there is no standard way to select which device tree to transfer to the kernel. OEMs typically put multiple DTBs into a firmware package to support devices with slightly different SKUs, so we're looking to address this issue. (See my colleague Elliot Berman's embedded Open Source Summit presentation on this topic. Links below.)

The image below shows the boot flow of Linux on this SoC:

(Journalist's note); Additionally, Qualcomm itself has invited developers and users to contribute to its work in a number of areas such as display, GPU, video, audio, camera, and power management, as well as the Snapdragon X Elite line. You have started your journey in Linux.

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