Intel Thread Director Is Headed to Linux for a Major Boost in Alder Lake Performance
The Linux 5.18 kernel is adding support this spring for the Intel Hardware Feedback Interface to make better decisions about where to place given work among available CPU cores/threads, reports Phoronix.

This is significant because Intel’s Alder Lake CPUs “are the first x86-64 processors to embrace a hybrid paradigm with two separate CPU architectures on the same die,” explains Hot Hardware:

These two separate CPU architectures have different strengths and capabilities. The Golden Cove “performance cores” (or P-cores) feature Intel’s latest high-performance desktop CPU architecture, and they are blisteringly fast. Meanwhile, the Gracemont “efficiency cores” (or E-cores) are so small that four of them, along with 2MB of shared L2 cache, can nearly fit in the same space as a single Golden Cove core. They’re slower than the Golden Cove cores, but also much more efficient, at least in theory.

The idea is that background tasks and light workloads can be run on the E-cores, saving power, while latency-sensitive and compute-intensive tasks can be run on the faster P-cores. The benefits of this may not have been exactly as clear as Intel would have liked on Windows, but they were even less visible on Linux. That’s because Linux isn’t aware of the unusual configuration of Alder Lake CPUs.

Well, that’s changing in Linux 5.18, slated for release this spring. Linux 5.18 is bringing support for the Intel Enhanced Hardware Feedback Interface, or EHFI…

This is essentially the crux of Intel’s “Thread Director,” which is an intelligent, low-latency hardware-assisted scheduler.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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