1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

Intel Keeps Pushing Haswell Code For Linux

Intel

Published on 23 October 2012 01:00 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel
Comment On This Article

Intel continues to push out more open-source kernel code for enabling their next-generation Haswell processors to be properly supported under Linux.

Haswell, the successor to Intel's Ivy Bridge processors, isn't due to be released for a number of months still but Intel Open-Source Technology Center developers have already been working on Haswell Linux enablement for a number of months.

Since March we have been seeing Linux graphics driver code for Haswell that continues to be refined. Haswell (along with Valley View, the next-generation Atom SoC) continues to be extensively developed by the graphics team within Intel OTC and with the Linux 3.8 kernel the Haswell DRM driver should be in shape. There's many variants to Haswell's graphics cores.

Aside from enabling support for the next-generation Intel HD integrated graphics on Haswell CPUs, Intel Linux developers have also been working to enable other areas of their next-generation hardware on the open-source operating system. One of the other areas I've written about already has been the Haswell audio improvements for Linux.

There's also been compiler optimizations for Intel Haswell within GCC and LLVM in preparation for the new instruction set extensions to be added to the Haswell processors. One of the new compiler features for Haswell is AVX2. More of these additions, which are exposed via the "core-avx2" compiler micro-architecture flag, include FMA, BMI1, BMI2, and LZCNT instruction set extensions.

In recent days there have also been new Haswell patches to see the public spotlight on the Linux kernel mailing list. One of the new patch series to appear for Haswell on the mailing list is for LBR (Last Branch Record) call stack support. "Haswell has a new feature that utilizes the existing Last Branch Record facility to record call chains. When the feature is enabled, function call will be collected as normal, but as return instructions are executed the last captured branch record is popped from the on-chip LBR registers. The LBR call stack facility can help perf to get call chains of progam without frame pointer." This LBR call stack patch series in its current form can be seen here.

Another new patch series is perf PMU support for Haswell, which is now up to its third revision. "This adds perf PMU support for the upcoming Haswell core. The patchkit is fairly large, mainly due to various enhancement for TSX. TSX tuning relies heavily on the PMU, so I tried hard to make all facilities easily available. In addition it also has some other enhancements."

The latest round of Intel Haswell improvements for Linux should be merged for the next kernel cycle, the Linux 3.8 kernel. It's looking like Linux 3.8 is where everything should come together for decent Haswell CPU support under Linux, which will be making it into Ubuntu 13.04 and other Q2'2013 Linux distributions.

New features to be found with Haswell beyond AVX / FMA 3 / Haswell New Instructions will be new CPU sockets, Transactional Synchronization Extensions (TSX), significant graphics improvements, DDR4 in the enterprise/server space, a Variable Base Clock, and SMAP security support.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
Latest Articles & Reviews
  1. AMD FX-8320E Performance On Linux
  2. Linux Compiler Benchmarks Of LLVM Clang 3.5 vs. LLVM Clang 3.6-rc1
  3. Intel Broadwell HD Graphics 5500: Windows 8.1 vs. Linux
  4. Linux Benchmarks Of NVIDIA's Early 2015 GeForce Line-Up
  5. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960: A Great $200 GPU For Linux Gamers
  6. Disk Encryption Tests On Fedora 21
Latest Linux News
  1. Compare Your Linux System To The i7-5600U Broadwell X1 Carbon ThinkPad
  2. Debian 8.0 "Jessie" Installer RC1 Released
  3. Chromebook "Rush" With 64-bit Tegra SoC Support Lands In Coreboot
  4. 2015 X.Org Elections Get Underway For Board Members, SPI Merger
  5. Linux 3.19-rc6 Kernel Released: LInux 3.19 Final In Two Weeks
  6. Ubuntu's Mir Gains Server-Side Platform Probing
  7. Broadwell Linux Ultrabook Running MUCH Cooler Than Haswell
  8. LZHAM 1.0 Lossless Data Compression Codec Released
  9. LibreOffice 4.4 Is Coming Soon With New Features
  10. Linux Users Upset By Chromium's Busted HiDPI Support
Most Viewed News This Week
  1. Windows 10 To Be A Free Upgrade: What Linux Users Need To Know
  2. Google Admin Encourages Trying Btrfs, Not ZFS On Linux
  3. TraceFS: The Newest Linux File-System
  4. My Initial Intel Broadwell Linux Experience With The ThinkPad X1 Carbon
  5. Mozilla's Servo Still On Track For 2015 Alpha Release
  6. Fedora 23 Likely To Pursue Wayland By Default
  7. Keith Packard Leaves Intel's Linux Graphics Work
  8. Interstellar Marines On Linux With Catalyst: Bull S*#@