The improvements in the upcoming Linux Kernal v5.16, is an improvement to the Kernal memory management functionality. It will reportedly improve the performance of certain workloads by up to 10%.
The Dubbed memory folios the new feature debuted in Linux Kernal 5.16 rc1 and the first release candidate of the next version of the Linux Kernal and released by Linux Torvalds the maintainer of the mainline Linux Kernal. Torvalds says atht: Linux 5.16 will not be huge release but does include the significant new feature.
The Memory Folios is the memory management system and it offers the more efficient and type safe way to specify the head of group of pages than the page pointers and compound head and friends.
Multi page folios offer some improvements, to some workloads the real workloads for example building the kernel, running postgres in the steady state etc and seem to benfit between the 0-10%. Although, the Torvalds does not imagine the 1.16 release to be huge release and will bring mainline support for Raspberry.
The pi 4 compute module and the more Apple Silicon bring up RISC V the hypervisor support for the KVM and the various file system improvements and lots more. There is bit of everything and users can look to the appended mergelog for some kind of flavor.
According to Wilcox the memory folios will essentially allow the file systems and the page cache to manage memory, in the larger chunks than PAGE SIZE and which will eventually lead to improved performance.
The pull request converts just parts of the core MM and the page cache. The 5.17 intended to convert various file systems the XFS and AFS are ready and other file systems may make it and also convert more of the MM and page Cache to Folios. The final Linux Kernal 5.16 Is expected to be released in January 2022.