The Android world is filled with various smartphones featuring vastly different kernel versions, from the dated Kernel 2.6 up to Kernel 3.4 (and even 3.6) depending on their SoCs and boards. Old devices are often left in the dark ages of Kernel 2.6 but avid developers often seek out to compile various sources in order to obtain a booting kernel.
That’s exactly what happened to the Xperia 2011 lineup, a unified kernel based on the Code Aurora soures (CAF) was finally compiled by XDA developer nobodyAtall, it is not clear how he managed to obtain working drivers let alone a proper device makefile but much of the work has been done, the Xperia Mini managed to boot Kernel 3.0.8! The targeted SoC, MSM8255 in this case can already technically support up to Kernel 3.6 but device-specific boards makes it hard to obtain a proper kernel even with the base sources.
The unified CAF Kernel 3.0.8 is still a work in progress as core hardware drivers are still being ported but the Xperia Mini will be the very first Xperia to taste this new kernel. Other Xperia 2011 devices shall soon follow.
There is no ETA yet but the kernel is expected to hit most devices when core kernel parts are worked out. Kernel 3.0.8 is obviously not the latest version on the kernel 3.0.y branch but the developer will surely sync his base with the CAF sources later on.
Kernel 3.0 unleashes the full potential of Android Jelly Bean, it plays an important role as far as HWC, Project Butter (especially Vysnc) are concerned.
Who knows? Perhaps this will pave the way for Kernel 3.4. But one thing is for sure, the move from 2.6 to 3.0 is a huge step forward!