Intel steps up efforts to improve Alder Lake’s hybrid support on Linux

by Alexandru Poloboc
Alexandru Poloboc
Alexandru Poloboc
News Editor
With an overpowering desire to always get to the bottom of things and uncover the truth, Alex spent most of his time working as a news reporter, anchor,... read more
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  • Linux still doesn't have proper support for Intel’s Thread Director technology.
  • The system isn’t allowed to access high-performing Golden Cove CPU cores.
  • Intel created the Hardware Feedback Interface in order to cater to these needs.
  • Now, every Linux and Alder Lake user is waiting on Intel to publish the patches.
alder lake

We all know, by now, that Intel launched quite a few patches for Linux, in order to increase Alder Lake’s performance through the performance and efficiency cores.

Since the release of Intel’s 12th Gen Core Alder Lake series, experts found out that the CPUs were more efficient on Windows 11 than on Linux.

Apparently, this happens because the Linux OS does not have proper support for Intel’s Thread Director technology.

Basically, the system isn’t allowed to access high-performing Golden Cove and the energy-efficient Gracemont cores properly.

Intel Alder Lake’s Thread Director support coming to Linux

According to Phoronix, the current firmware in Linux uses an algorithm to plan which of the Performance or Efficiency cores utilized by the ITMT/Turbo Boost Max 3.0 driver are accessed at the time.

But, because Linux chooses to lean more towards higher performance, such as what is found in Golden Cove’s clock speed, it also lessens the use of the energy-efficient Gracemont cores at the same time.

Thus, Intel has created the Hardware Feedback Interface, which is a table created by the HFI to help provide information for both the performance and energy efficiency of the computer’s processor.

The above-mentioned HFI table, working together with the OS and the hardware, is constantly updated depending on any changes in the operating conditions or any actions from external factors at the time.

Intel’s HFI calculates the power efficiency, as well as the performance capability of the processor, giving it a numerical value to the core, and sends the information to the operating system.

This real-time communication from the HFI allows for the hardware to adapt to the current capabilities of the system and communicate to the operating system to make recommendations on what to limit at the given time.

The OS will then minimize any scheduled tasks that would affect the energy efficiency, performance levels, or temperature of the system.

There is no official information about the rollout for these patches, but users are hoping that they will be included in the upcoming Linux 5.17 update.

Excited about these new changes? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

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