[PATCH v2 2/6] powerpc/smp: Enable Asym packing for cores on shared processor

Michael Ellerman mpe at ellerman.id.au
Thu Oct 19 22:50:43 AEDT 2023

Peter Zijlstra <peterz at infradead.org> writes:
> On Thu, Oct 19, 2023 at 03:38:40PM +1100, Michael Ellerman wrote:
>> Srikar Dronamraju <srikar at linux.vnet.ibm.com> writes:
>> > If there are shared processor LPARs, underlying Hypervisor can have more
>> > virtual cores to handle than actual physical cores.
>> >
>> > Starting with Power 9, a core has 2 nearly independent thread groups.
>> You need to be clearer here that you're talking about "big cores", not
>> SMT4 cores as seen on bare metal systems.
> What is a 'big core' ? I'm thinking big.LITTLE, but I didn't think Power
> went that route (yet?).. help?

No it's not big.LITTLE :)

It means we have two SMT4 cores glued together that behave as a single
SMT8 core, a system is either in "big core" mode or it's not, it's never

If you grep for "big_core" there's some code in the kernel for dealing
with it, though it's probably not very illuminating.

Possibly we should switch to using the "thread group" terminology, so
that it doesn't confuse folks about big.LITTLE. Also the device tree
property that we use to discover if we're using big cores is called


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