Linux's Perf Tools Prepares For Intel Alder Lake, Adds New AMD Zen 3 Events

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 4 May 2021 at 11:27 AM EDT. Add A Comment
Linux's perf tooling for dealing with hardware performance counters and associated monitoring has seen a number of nice updates for the Linux 5.13 kernel cycle.

As usual, Intel continues to lead on the perf front for exposing their hardware's many performance counters and ensuring good integration for Linux profiling and analysis. With Linux 5.13 there is now support for hybrid PMUs in preparing for forthcoming heterogeneous processor designs like Alder Lake with a mix of Core and Atom CPU cores.

Also on the Intel front, the --iostat option has been added as a way of collecting and presenting I/O statistics for Intel hardware. This relies upon new sysfs information exposed for Intel Xeon Scalable Skylake CPUs and later for read/write I/O devices to/from the host memory and CPU reads/writes to I/O devices below the root port.

Meanwhile AMD has added Zen 3 events reporting to Perf as well as fixing broken L2 Cache hits metrics. The new events supported with AMD Zen 3 processors are outlined in this commit.

On the ARM64 front, there is now support for Fujitsu A64FX PMU event metrics.

Also in the perf tooling pull is perf data now allows converting the file to JSON format. Bperf has also been added as a means for sharing hardware performance counters (PMCs) with BPF.

The perf tool changes for Linux 5.13 can be found via this pull request.
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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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