Start64!ARM employee Catalin Marinas has released a set of 36 patches that will extend the Linux kernel to provide support for ARM's AArch64 64-bit architecture. This 64-bit ARM support will be provided by the ARMv8 instruction set, which was announced in the autumn of 2011 and is expected to be first used in processors in 2014.

The AArch64 support will be given its own directory (arch/aarch64/) in the kernel sources, making it independent of the previous support for 32-bit ARM cores (officially: AArch32 architecture, arch/arm/). Various kernel developers have remarked that the 64-bit extension for the x86 architecture was initially handled in a similar way, but that the code was later merged to simplify its maintenance and development.