Linux Kernel Sees Initial Patches For Supporting Intel Hybrid CPUs
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 2 October 2020 at 04:27 PM EDT. 10 Comments
INTEL --
Intel engineers today sent out their initial Linux kernel patches for bringing up the company's forthcoming hybrid architecture processors.

For several months we have seen Intel open-source developers working on GCC compiler support for Atom + Core hybrid CPUs and other bits in preparation for Lakefield and Alder Lake as the company's initial hybrid CPU designs. Today though are the first Linux kernel patches being worked on for actually exposing the hybrid topology within the kernel and ultimately (pending further patches) to expose the information to user-space.

The code volleyed today allows enumerating processor cores within Intel hybrid CPU packages based on a new CPUID feature bit. The kernel with these patches will now detect the hybrid feature bit and also add support for decoding machine check errors on hybrid CPUs given special considerations needed there. Patches yet to be published will expose the hybrid CPU topology to user-space. Other patches are likely to follow as well for other areas that benefit from knowing specific CPU microarchitecture attributes.

Today's patches for this Intel CPU hybrid bring-up via the kernel mailing list. Lakefield is a combination of Sunny Cove and Tremont cores. 12th Gen Core "Alder Lake" is where the hybrid design should get more interesting with a combination of Golden Cove and Gracemont cores while expected to debut in H2'2021.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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