Facebook Has Been Working On BOLT'ing The Linux Kernel For Greater Performance

For several years now Facebook engineers have been working on BOLT as a way to speed-up Linux/ELF binaries. This "Binary Optimization and Layout Tool" is able to re-arrange executables once profiled to generate even faster performance than what can be achieved by a compiler's LTO and PGO optimizations. One of the latest BOLT efforts has been on optimizing the Linux kernel image.

7 Hours Ago - Linux Kernel - BOLTing The Linux Kernel - 6 Comments
Intel's User Interrupts With Sapphire Rapids Looking Quite Great For Faster IPC

Earlier this month Intel engineers posted their initial Linux kernel enablement around x86 User Interrupts with this feature premiering with Xeon "Sapphire Rapids" CPUs. As implied by the name, the User Interrupt functionality allows for interrupts to bypass the kernel for more efficient, low-latency, low-utilization interrupts being received by other user-space tasks. Intel talked more about User Interrupts this week at LPC2021.

7 Hours Ago - Intel - x86 User Interrupts - 1 Comment

24 September

SiFive HiFive Unmatched Hands-On, Initial RISC-V Performance Benchmarks

A few weeks ago I finally received the HiFive Unmatched from SiFive as their flagship RISC-V development board. As a reminder this is their mini-ITX development board that is powered by their U740 SoC and features 16GB of DDR4 system memory, one PCI Express x16 slot that can work with AMD Radeon graphics cards on Linux, and other features. It's been a delight playing with this developer platform and enclosed are some early benchmarks as well showing off the U740 performance as well as how the Linux software support/performance has been evolving.

24 September 09:22 AM EDT - Computers - 53 Comments

23 September

systemd OOMD Maturing Nicely, Adds Support For User Services

Systemd-oomd as the out-of-memory daemon originally developed by Facebook has been maturing nicely since being merged last year and then its most notable deployment to date has been with Fedora 34's debut earlier this year. Anita Zhang of Facebook provided an update today on the systemd-oomd effort.

23 September 12:00 AM EDT - systemd - systemd-oomd - 16 Comments

22 September

Google Finally Shifting To "Upstream First" Linux Kernel Approach For Android Features

Google's Android had been notorious for all of its downstream patches carried by the mobile operating system as well as various vendor/device kernel trees while in recent years more of that code has been upstreamed. Google has also been shifting to the Android Generic Kernel Image (GKI) as the basis for all their product kernels to further reduce the fragmentation. Looking ahead, Google is now talking of an "upstream first" approach for pushing new kernel features.

22 September 02:38 PM EDT - Google - Upstream First - 47 Comments
Mesa Merge Pending For Vulkan Ray-Tracing On Older AMD GPUs

Merged yesterday for Mesa 21.3 was open-source Vulkan ray-tracing for AMD RDNA2 / RX 6000 series GPUs with the RADV driver. Opened today now is a merge request that would provide Vulkan ray-tracing with RADV to pre-RDNA2 GPUs on this driver going back to the likes of Polaris, granted the performance is another story.

22 September 01:14 PM EDT - Mesa - Ray-Tracing On Older GPUs - 19 Comments
An Early Look At The AMD P-State CPPC Driver Performance vs. ACPI CPUFreq

Earlier this month AMD posted their initial public patches for the AMD P-State CPU frequency scaling driver that leverages ACPI CPPC for ultimately aiming to provide better power efficiency and more responsive CPU frequency scaling / performance state decisions on Zen 3 (and Zen 2 eventually) processors. This is part of the effort around AMD and Valve collaborating for better Linux efficiency especially with the AMD-powered Steam Deck.

22 September 09:38 AM EDT - Software - 25 Comments
Better Support & Performance For OpenACC Kernels Is Coming To GCC

While the GNU Compiler Collection has supported OpenACC for a few years now as this parallel programming standard popular with GPUs/accelerators, the current implementation has been found to be inadequate for many real-world HPC workloads leveraging OpenACC. Fortunately, Siemens has been working to improve GCC's OpenACC kernels support.

22 September 06:40 AM EDT - GNU - OpenACC Performance - Add A Comment
Mesa 21.2.2 Released "Late & Very Large"

Mesa point releases generally come every two weeks but for the past month have fallen off the wagon. Mesa 21.2.1 came in mid-August and on Tuesday was finally succeeded by Mesa 21.2.2 as a "late and very large" update.

22 September 12:00 AM EDT - Mesa - Mesa 21.2 - 20 Comments

21 September

AMDGPU Linux Driver To Overhaul Its Approach To Device Enumeration

AMD's open-source Linux graphics driver engineers are working to overhaul how the initial driver loading with device enumeration happens to ultimately make it more robust. In the process though PCI IDs become less important and in turn less of an avenue for exposing possible indicators of new graphics cards.

21 September 05:00 PM EDT - Radeon - IP Discovery - 8 Comments
Vulkan Video Decoding Still In The Early Stages For Open-Source

Going public back in April was the provisional specification around the Vulkan Video extensions as a new industry-standard video encode/decode interface. While several months have passed, there hasn't been much activity yet in the open-source space around Vulkan Video.

21 September 06:33 AM EDT - Vulkan - Vulkan Video - 5 Comments

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