Ethereum developers have scheduled the Berlin hard fork for April 14 at block height 12,244,000, according to the Ethereum All Core Developers meeting Friday.
The hardfork includes various optimizations for contracts including gas efficiencies, updates to how code is read by the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) and other changes to protect against denial-of-service (DDOS) attacks.
The Berlin hard fork was originally scheduled for June or July 2020, but was pushed back mainly due to centralization concerns around the Geth client that most Ethereum nodes run on. Moreover, developers working on the current baselayer blockchain, often called Eth 1.x, have expressed strain from maintaining the client.
The Berlin hard fork has been preceded by multiple testnets. The update, which includes at least five Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIP), will be shipped on four test networks before deployment as well.
Correction (February 19, 17:45 UTC): A previous version of this article stated Berlin included an EIP necessary for the Ethereum 2.0 merge. However, that EIP is not currently slated for inclusion.