26 May

Amazon Graviton3 vs. Intel Xeon vs. AMD EPYC Performance
Amazon Graviton3 vs. Intel Xeon vs. AMD EPYC Performance
26 May 02:46 PM EDT - Processors - 19 Comments

Earlier this week AWS announced general availability on their new Arm Neoverse-V1 based processors, Graviton3. Right after that I posted some initial Graviton3 benchmarks against prior-generation Graviton2 for showing the very sizable generational improvement with Amazon's new in-house Arm server processors. Since then I have been carrying out a more robust set of around 100 benchmarks across the original Graviton instance, Graviton2, Graviton3, and then up again Intel Xeon and AMD EPYC competing instances. Here is that much larger collection of Graviton3 performance benchmarks carried out on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS.

AmpereOne Announced As Ampere's In-House AArch64 Cloud Native Processor Design
AmpereOne Announced As Ampere's In-House AArch64 Cloud Native Processor Design
26 May 12:20 PM EDT - Arm - AmpereOne - 4 Comments

Last year Ampere Computing announced they were designing their own in-house AArch64 server/cloud processor cores to succeed their current Ampere Altra / Ampere Altra Max processors leveraging Arm Neoverse N1 cores. The company announced today that their first in-house cloud native processor core designs will be marketed under the AmpereOne branding.

AlmaLinux 9.0 Released As Community, Free Alternative To Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9.0
AlmaLinux 9.0 Released As Community, Free Alternative To Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9.0
26 May 12:00 PM EDT - Operating Systems - AlmaLinux 9 - 5 Comments

AlmaLinux has been one of the distributions born out of CentOS Linux (non-Stream) going end-of-life and has made a name for itself already in the industry with companies like AMD backing it for those looking at a no-cost/community alternative to Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Just one week after RHEL 9.0 went GA, AlmaLinux 9.0 is being officially released today.

Intel AVX-512 A Big Win For... JSON Parsing Performance
Intel AVX-512 A Big Win For... JSON Parsing Performance
26 May 07:00 AM EDT - Software - 42 Comments

In addition to the many HPC workloads and other scientific computing tasks where Intel's AVX-512 performance on their latest processor proves very beneficial, it also turns out AVX-512 can provide significant benefit to a much more mundane web server task: JSON parsing. The simdjson project that is focused on "parsing gigabytes of JSON per second" this week issued simdjson 2.0 and is headlined by an Intel-led contribution of AVX-512 support.

Intel-Led Cloud-Hypervisor 24 Released For Rust-Written VMM
Intel-Led Cloud-Hypervisor 24 Released For Rust-Written VMM
26 May 12:00 AM EDT - Virtualization - Cloud-Hypervisor 24.0 - Add A Comment

Cloud-Hypervisor as the open-source, Rust-based virtual machine monitor with a focus on security is out with its latest feature release. Cloud-Hypervisor started as one of many Intel open-source projects that last year shifted to under the Linux Foundation umbrella but still sees contributions from Intel as well as other industry leaders like Microsoft and Arm. Cloud-Hypervisor 24.0 is the newest version of this Rust VMM

25 May

NVIDIA VA-API 0.0.6 Driver Works On Multi-Threaded Decode, Improved GPU Selection
NVIDIA VA-API 0.0.6 Driver Works On Multi-Threaded Decode, Improved GPU Selection
25 May 03:00 PM EDT - NVIDIA - nvidia-vaapi-driver - 5 Comments

The open-source, unofficial project providing a NVIDIA VA-API driver on Linux systems built atop the proprietary driver's NVDEC video decode interface is out with a new feature release. This NVIDIA-VAAPI-Driver effort continues to be driven in large part for allowing GPU-accelerated video acceleration in Firefox and other software only targeting the open Video Acceleration API.

Linux 5.19 Finally Removes Obsolete x86 a.out Support
Linux 5.19 Finally Removes Obsolete x86 a.out Support
25 May 01:15 PM EDT - Linux Kernel - Linux 5.19 - 12 Comments

Way back in 2019 the Linux kernel deprecated a.out support given that it was superseded by ELF, which itself has already been supported for over two decades going back to Linux 1.x kernels. With Linux 5.19, the obsolete 32-bit x86 a.out support is finally being removed for good from the kernel.

Linux 5.19 Heavy On Intel Power Management & Thermal Improvements
Linux 5.19 Heavy On Intel Power Management & Thermal Improvements
25 May 09:30 AM EDT - Hardware - Power Management, ACPI, Thermal - Add A Comment

The power management, ACPI, and thermal control updates are ready for Linux 5.19. This cycle there is a lot of PM/thermal work as usual on the Arm side while Intel also continues with a lot of changes from new hardware support to improving overheat handling of laptops for S0ix handling.

TUXEDO Aura 15 Gen2 - AMD Ryzen 5000 Series Powered, Linux Laptop
TUXEDO Aura 15 Gen2 - AMD Ryzen 5000 Series Powered, Linux Laptop
25 May 07:00 AM EDT - Computers - 17 Comments

Bavarian PC vendor TUXEDO Computers that specializes in various Linux pre-loaded notebooks and desktop computers recently launched their Aura 15 Gen2 laptop focused on being an "affordable business allrounder" and powered by AMD Ryzen 5000 series processors with integrated Vega graphics to make for a nice open-source driver experience. TUXEDO sent over the Aura 15 Gen2 for a round of testing and here's a look at this Ubuntu Linux laptop's performance and capabilities.

Nearly Half A Million Lines Of New Graphics Driver Code Sent In For Linux 5.19
Nearly Half A Million Lines Of New Graphics Driver Code Sent In For Linux 5.19
25 May 06:02 AM EDT - Linux Kernel - Intel + AMD Radeon Action - 15 Comments

David Airlie this morning sent in the Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) subsystem updates for the Linux 5.19 merge window. Most notable with the DRM display/graphics driver updates for this next kernel version is a lot of work on Intel Arc Graphics DG2/Alchemist in getting that support ready plus initial Raptor Lake enablement. as well as AMD preparing for next-generation CDNA Instinct products and RDNA3 Radeon RX 7000 series graphics cards.

24 May

Linux 5.19 Makes It Much Easier To Clear CPUID Features
Linux 5.19 Makes It Much Easier To Clear CPUID Features
24 May 02:40 PM EDT - Linux Kernel - Allows Names - 1 Comment

The Linux x86/x86_64 kernel has long honored the "clearcpuid=" kernel parameter to disable select CPUID features from being used by the kernel or readily advertised. However, it hasn't been very intuitive to use since it relied on passing the bit numbers for the specific features. With Linux 5.19 it's much easier to deal with in now allowing the CPUID string from /proc/cpuinfo to be passed if wanting particular CPUID features disabled.

Amazon Graviton3 Benchmarks - Nice Performance Uplift With AWS EC2 C7g
Amazon Graviton3 Benchmarks - Nice Performance Uplift With AWS EC2 C7g
24 May 12:30 PM EDT - Processors - 17 Comments

At the end of last year Amazon announced their new Graviton3 processors with around 25% more compute performance than their prior Graviton2 AArch64 processors, up to 2x the FP and crypto performance, DDR5 system memory support, and other improvements to their in-house processor for the AWS cloud. Yesterday the C7g instances reached general availability for making Graviton3 processors available to AWS customers. Here are some initial benchmarks.

Linux Continues Playing Catch Up To Windows For Desktop Hardware Monitoring Support
Linux Continues Playing Catch Up To Windows For Desktop Hardware Monitoring Support
24 May 12:00 PM EDT - Hardware - Linux 5.19 Hardware Monitoring - 9 Comments

In recent kernel versions there has been an uptick in new driver activity around improving hardware sensor monitoring support for AMD/Intel desktop motherboards, but still it's generally behind that of the support found under Microsoft Windows. With Linux 5.19 there is more hardware monitoring "HWMON" subsystem work with improving sensor coverage on various motherboards and other components.

Intel SGX Enclaves Were Prone To Crashes On Linux Under Heavy Memory Pressure
Intel SGX Enclaves Were Prone To Crashes On Linux Under Heavy Memory Pressure
24 May 04:55 AM EDT - Intel - Intel SGX For Linux 5.19 - 4 Comments

Intel's Software Guard Extensions (SGX) as security-related extensions to their processors that allow for protected memory enclaves has had a rather bouncy journey. Intel continues supporting SGX on their latest Xeon processors but on the client side have been deprecated since 11th Gen Core. Over the years SGX has been found vulnerable to various attacks from speculative execution exploits to Plundervolt. It also turns out under Linux until now was also open to crashing under memory pressure.

23 May

Linux 5.19 To "Make Life Miserable" In Slowing Down Bad Behaving Split-Lock Apps
23 May 07:37 PM EDT - Linux Kernel - Split-Lock Changes - 25 Comments

Back in 2020 Intel engineers working on the Linux kernel added split lock detection to provide a warning when an atomic operation spans multiple cache lines and requires a global bus lock for atomicity. A warning is now deemed not useful enough so instead the intent moving forward is to "make life miserable" for such misbehaving user-space applications by slowing down the performance with hopes of the app developers better handling their code.

PHP 8.2 Performance Continues Moving In The Right Direction
23 May 03:00 PM EDT - Programming - Early PHP 8.2 Benchmarks - Add A Comment

If release trends hold, we should be roughly half-way through the PHP 8.2 development cycle with the annual feature releases normally out toward the end of November. Given that, this weekend I decided to try out the state of PHP 8.2 Git and carry out some early benchmarks to get an idea where things are headed.

Intel Trust Domain Extensions Ready For Linux 5.19 (Intel TDX)
23 May 09:00 AM EDT - Intel - Intel TDX - Add A Comment

Sent in this morning for Linux 5.19 is AMD SEV-SNP support for that hardware feature introduced last year with AMD EPYC Milan 7003 series processors. Meanwhile Intel's alternative technology, Trust Domain Extensions (TDX) is coming with Xeon Scalable "Sapphire Rapids" and also with Linux 5.19 that functionality is being readied on the software side.

AMD SEV-SNP Finally Being Merged In Linux 5.19 To Enhance Confidential Computing
23 May 07:12 AM EDT - AMD - AMD SEV-SNP - Add A Comment

Last year with the launch of AMD EPYC 7003 "Milan" processors one of the new security features was SEV-SNP, or the "Secure Nested Paging" update to the Secure Encrypted Virtualization functionality that has built up with succeeding EPYC generations. While AMD published out-of-tree kernel patches in a GitHub repository to enable SEV-SNP and has been volleying several revisions to them on the kernel mailing list, one year later it's finally arriving in mainline with the Linux 5.19 kernel.

22 May

Linux 5.19 Will Be Super Exciting For Intel Customers, Many Other Features Expected
22 May 07:04 AM EDT - Linux Kernel - Linux 5.19 Features - 5 Comments

Unless Linus Torvalds has reservations today about the changes to land in the kernel this past week and decides to issue an extra RC, Linux 5.18 is expected to be christened as stable today and that in turn will mark the start of the Linux 5.19 merge window. Based on the "-next" activity, here is a look at the many changes expected to be merged for Linux 5.19.

Radeon RADV Driver Readied For Vulkan's Upcoming Mesh Shading Extension
22 May 06:20 AM EDT - Valve - Cross-Vendor Mesh Shading - 10 Comments

As I've written about since last year the Mesa Radeon Vulkan driver "RADV" has been working on experimental mesh shader support and more recently in Mesa Git code around task shaders for RADV have been landing. Timur Kristóf who is contracted by Valve to work on the open-source Linux graphics stack has been working on the mesh/task shader support in preparation for an upcoming cross-vendor Vulkan extension around mesh shading.

Zhaoxin Tries Again To Upstream Their "LuJiaZui" CPU Support Within GCC
22 May 04:36 AM EDT - GNU - Zhaoxin LuJiaZui - 4 Comments

Back in 2019 Chinese CPU company Zhaoxin introduced "LuJiaZui" as their 16nm x86 CPU design for use from laptops up through servers. LuJiaZui is much improved from their earlier chips though still well behind AMD and Intel performance. Proper GCC compiler support for LuJiaZui was sent out again this week after their previous upstreaming attempt hadn't made it into GCC 12 due to being late in the cycle.

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