Intel released a new Alder Lake developer guide

With the release of the 12th-generation Core series processors this year, and the release of Alchemist graphics cards next year, Intel will pay more attention to PC games and invest more resources. Compared with Nvidia and AMD in the PC game field for many years, Intel’s accumulation is relatively weak. In fact, in the past few months, Intel has actively recruited people with experience in cooperating with game developers.

Recently, Intel released a new game development guide, allowing game developers to better optimize the new generation big.LITTLE hybrid architecture of the Alder Lake processor. In this guide, Intel explains in great depth and detail the various methods of pushing workloads to specific cores.

Optimized for the Alder Lake processor big.LITTLE hybrid architecture, the purpose is to ensure that the configured P-Core (Golden Cove) can complete heavy workloads, while E-Core (Gracemont) is responsible for light workloads and some background tasks. In order to simplify the programming model for developers, all P-Core and E-Core have the same instruction set. When necessary, the cores of the two architectures can handle the same task at the same time.

When optimizing for the Alder Lake processor, developers also need to pay attention to the core configuration of the processor. Intel runs on Alder Lake processors in a new scheduling mode called Intel Thread Controller (ITD). Its role is to provide instruction set architecture (ISA) guidelines for the operating system, allowing ITD to pair tasks with appropriate cores, and the role of ISA is to allow Windows to see the performance characteristics and functions of each core cluster. If there is no ISA, in the view of Windows, the cores of Alder Lake processors are the same, then the workload distribution may become unreasonable.
Developers can use tools created by Intel to set the game, such as priority and specific scheduling, to use ITD for work.

For developers, choosing task allocation may complicate things, and in some cases, it may be more efficient not to use E-Core at all.