Intel Is Now Bringing The Observation Architecture To Their Linux Driver

Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 3 February 2016 at 07:19 AM EST. Add A Comment
While Haswell processors have been available for a few years now, finally work is materializing on supporting the hardware's Observation Architecture.

The Observation Architecture is a set of performance counters for Haswell and newer. Developers interested in all the technical details on these new performance counters can see this public documentation.

Robert Bragg published a new set of patches yesterday for implementing this Observation Architecture in their i915 DRM driver for Haswell. So far this implementation is working with the GPUTop profiling tool and the GL_INTEL_performance_query in Mesa.

The new patches can be found on the dri-devel list while Bragg has also been working on patches for enabling this support under Broadwell too. It's great to see more performance counter work going into the open-source graphics drivers since at one point not too far back the vendors guarded the information much more closely.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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