We are making great progress and some big topics are coming to an end. Long story short - we had released Aeternity node
v6.6.0. It is already out, we had deployed it to both testnet and mainnet nodes. It is packed with new functionality but the big topics are DB refactoring and of course - HyperChains.
The DB refactoring had been a long running task. It primarily aims at data consistency. It also resulted in a couple of time speed up of the sync process. As a side effect of it, we now can implement a much more efficient GC of older states and lower the memory footprint. This would be included in a future release. With regards of the sync speed up, I would leave to @uwiger to post some metrics.
HyperChains are progressing with a full speed. So far we had a big feature branch and we were releasing from it. This is no more - now all changes go in the master branch and from now on running a HC node would be as simple as providing a different config. There are a lot of changes in the smart contract and it is much easier to modify it according to your specific use case. We are also introducing some parent chain interaction: at this point we would be using the main net’s blocks as a source of entropy for the child chain. The whole UI is revisited with a focus of UX. The HyperChain test net is not yet upgraded and once it is - we will put a dedicated forum post for it. If you are too eager to know all the changes, please consult the release notes of the release.
Other notable changes are the dropping of the support of OTP22 and Ubuntu 16.04. We also removed some unused CLI commands and some bug fixes.
So go ahead and upgrade your node in order to take advantage of the new features.