Linux Kernel Clearing Up Intel CPU Names With Proliferation Of Different Cores

Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 26 August 2019 at 05:56 PM EDT. Add A Comment
Stemming from recent discussions over Intel's Linux enablement for Intel's Lightning Mountain SoC that characterized it as a "AIRMONT_NP" for a "network processor" even though it's not limited to networking use-cases, and with Intel's proliferation of different CPU cores in general, the Linux kernel is seeing some cleaning up of their different Intel CPU names.

Within macro definitions and the like, the Intel CPU/core names are being cleaned up to better follow their naming convention of INTEL followed by the family, micro-architecture, and possible differentiations based on market segments.

So over the course of several different patches, the names are being cleared up to avoid confusion, including:

- Dropping "_CORE" and "_DESKTOP" from the identifiers, since they don't have much value and were not already uniformly used.

- Rather than post-fixing some parts with "_L", "_ULT", or "_MOBILE" for denoting mobile processors, "_L" for laptop is being used to mark all mobile processors.

- For CPUs with "big core graphics" they have carried markings of "_G" and "_GT3E" for the GT3e graphics while now they will just use a "_G" postfix.

- Micro-server naming has ended in either "_XEON_D" or "_X" while now it will be "_D".

These are changes just about the Linux kernel's Intel support code and not any change by Intel in their product alignment or branding, but should help those in going through the latest kernel code for sometimes being confused by the different strings. These changes and more are in x86/cpu ahead of the Linux 5.4 merge window.
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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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