In addition to his other pull requests for the kernel areas he oversees, Greg Kroah-Hartman on Friday submitted all staging area changes for the kernel in this kind of “proving ground” for the kernel. Thanks to a spring clean, the staging area is 13,000 lines of code less this cycle.
One of the most significant changes for the staging this cycle is the promoted out-of-stage WFX pilot. WFX is the Linux WiFi driver from Silicon Labs. The Silicon Labs WF200 series hardware is intended for low-power IoT hardware applications. The WFX driver had been in the works for three years (since Linux 5.5) when it was finally worked on enough to be promoted to the networking subsystem proper.
Over 5,000 additional lines of code were freed up by removing the Unisys s-Par driver code entirely from the kernel tree. The Unisys s-Par code contained three drivers for the “Unisys Secure Partition”, but this code was left in an unmaintained state. No one from Unisys has responded to the published patches and none of its engineers have advanced this code lately, so the decision was made to simply remove it from the Linux kernel. Unisys Secure Partitioning “s-Par” is a Type 1 hypervisor that uses Intel VT on select Xeon platforms to create and monitor multiple operating environments. The s-Par is implemented in firmware for low overhead management.
Many code refinements also continue to be made to the Realtek RTL8188eus WiFi Linux driver, the “r8188eu”. Greg commented on this working r8188eu driver, “So many cleanings. It’s amazing how much has been cleaned up here, and yet how much remains to be done. A lot of work has been going on here, and it doesn’t look like it’s slowing down anytime soon.“
There are a ton of other smaller driver cleanups as listed in the intermediate pull request.