Intel Posts Linux Perf Support For Icelake CPUs
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 20 March 2019 at 06:19 AM EDT. 1 Comment
With the core functionality for Intel Icelake CPUs appearing to be in place, Intel's open-source developers have been working on the other areas of hardware enablement for these next-generation processors.

The latest Icelake Linux patches we are seeing made public by Intel is in regards to the "perf" subsystem support. Perf, of course, is about exposing the hardware performance counters and associated instrumentation that can be exercised by user-space when profiling performance of the hardware and other events.

With 22 new patches, the Linux kernel's perf support for Icelake is put into shape.

The perf/counter capabilities are greater with Icelake than previous generations of Intel CPUs. As to some of the changes exposed by these patches: "Icelake expanded the generic counters to always 8 even with HT on, but a range of events cannot be scheduled on the extra 4 counters. Add new constraint ranges to describe this to the scheduler. The number of constraints that need to be checked is larger now than with earlier CPUs. At some point we may need a new data structure to look them up more efficiently than with linear search. So far it still seems to be acceptable however." Also, Icelake has support for reporting per-thread top-down metrics.

Intel Icelake CPUs will hopefully be shipping before the end of the calendar year.

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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 10,000 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 or contacted via

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