Linux kernel 5.11 embraces Intel SGX, ARM CPUs, Wi-Fi 6E, and offers better performance on AMD’s ZEN-based Ryzen CPUs

Linux Kernel 5.11
Latest Linux Kernel is officially out. Pic credit: Sárfi Benjámin/Pixabay

Linux kernel 5.11 release, code-named “Valentine’s Day Edition”, is officially out. The latest release of the Linux kernel features some impressive performance enhancements for AMD hardware and supports Intel’s SGX platform, among other features.

Released over Valentine’s Day weekend, the latest stable release of Linux kernel has major improvements for computers that run on AMD’s ZEN-based Ryzen CPUs. Additionally, the kernel brings support for Intel’s Software Guard Extensions (SGX), Wi-Fi 6E, ARM CPUs, etc.

Here’s why AMD owners should switch to Linux kernel 5.11 Valentine’s Day Edition:

The latest stable release of Linux Kernel is officially out. After seven iterations as Release Candidate (RC), Linus Torvalds chose to release the Linux kernel 5.11 to the general public.

Linux kernel 5.11 addresses a major “performance regression” that has impacted the AMD ZEN Core Architecture. Owing to the fix, AMD’s ZEN-based processors such as Ryzen and EPYC will perform faster out of the box than on any previous kernels. The latest Linux kernel also supports AMD “Van Gogh” and “Dimgrey Cavefish” GPUs.

Simply put, all ZEN 2 and ZEN 3 based AMD CPUs, which include desktop-grade AMD Ryzen and server-grade AMD EPYC 4000 and 5000 Series, will recover from performance regression. Hence, laptops, desktops, and servers running on AMD’s ZEN 2 and ZEN 3-based processors should switch to Linux kernel 5.11

The latest kernel includes support for Intel SGX, ARM CPU, Wi-Fi 6E, file system improvements, and bug fixes:

In addition to AMD-related improvements, the latest stable release of Linux kernel also features enhancements related to Intel hardware. This includes support for Intel’s Software Guard Extensions (SGX).

Intel’s SGX is a hardware-isolated trusted execution environment for applications to store and process secrets in enclaves. Simply put the platform is hardware-based memory encryption that promises to “increase the security of application code and data, giving them more protection from disclosure or modification.”

Additionally, there’s support for Intel Integer Scaling (IS) graphics. This is particularly useful for pixel art games.

Interestingly, Linux 5.11 also brings additional support to ARM devices. This means Microsoft’s SQ2-based Surface Pro, and even Apple’s M1-based Mac line of computers should accept the kernel.

The latest stable release of the Linux kernel also supports wireless routers that feature Intel Wi-Fi 6GHz Band. These are the latest generation of routers that manufacturers sell as Wi-Fi 6E compatible. Interestingly, the kernel has demoted Intel WiMax.

Needless to mention, alongside the aforementioned features, the Linux kernel 5.11 includes several other tweaks and enhancements, file system improvements, and bug fixes.

Eager users can download and compile the latest Linux Kernel. However, experts advise waiting for some time. The kernel will surely make its way into the official repositories of the major Linux distros soon.

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