Friday, May 11, 2012

PowerTop 2.0 Released

PowerTop 2.0 has been released by Intel Open Source Technology Center and this new version brings a major overhaul of the code base, and adds exciting new features.

According to the press release, there are three highlights on this release:
  • Greatly enhanced diagnostic capabilities using the Linux kernel perf framework
    • The first big change is the use of a hardened library called libparseevents, for accessing the kernel "perf" infrastructure. With this enhancement, they are able to provide much more accurate data, and be more flexible with any future kernel development. There has been a great deal of work done in the area of CPU data measurement and diagnostics. Full accurate support was added for CPU idle, frequency, and power traces, along with expanded frequency state reporting for CPUs with more than 10 states
  • New tab-based UI which displays more detailed information in real time
    • Overview Tab: details the summary information about total CPU and wakeups per second for the System, GPU, and VFS ops. Within the summary view, you also see the consumer status for interrupts, devices, timers, processes, and more.
    • Idle stats tab: details the summary information on the various processor cores, and the status of the processor package.
    • Frequency stats tab: details the summary information about the clock speeds, and the percentage used in said clocks, for each processor core and package. 
    • Device stats tab: details the summary device activity overview, network device transmission rates, and GPU ops rates.
    • Tunables tab: summarizes our best known diagnostic recommendations and options to apply. This tab is also interactive with the ability of allowing you to toggle the options while in interactive mode. So in real time, you can see what affect PowerTOP’s recommendations will have on power.
  • Advanced reporting capabilities for offline analysis including HTML5 and CSV formats.
    • HTML: The HTML report contains all the information seen in the real time UI, but in a single static report. Additionally, we are happy to say that PowerTOP’s HTML reports are also in an HTML5 application format, giving any user with an HTML5-supported browser a clean, organized tab-based report. As nice as this is for reviewing data, there is also the ALL tab in the HTML5 application that presents all the data in one long format for the total picture. This is also the standard format for HTML reports generated for non-HTML5 browsers. To close the gap in your wants and needs, PowerTOP v2.0 now reports the tunable recommendations. Although PowerTOP is not a permanent tuning tool, PowerTOP indeed has the ability to test the tunable effects of its suggestions. As such, it was only reasonable that we include these tunables in the report.
    • CSV: The CSV report is a single, static, comma-separated, value-delimited report, giving you ultimate control for data manipulation for your specific needs, such as trending and analytical analysis.
This release also includes some enhancement from previous releases:
  • Increased WLAN support—PowerTOP now supports multiple WLAN interfaces
  • Enhanced i915 driver support
  • More robust battery data acquisition
  • Real time measurement support for USB hot-plug
Please note that the Project's Homepage is now located at https://01.org/powertop

For those who are interested to try building this package, please visit my SlackHacks repository where i have uploaded a SlackBuild script for this package. You can download the source for PowerTOP 2.0 from the official website.

Update (May 24): The same version has been included in the -Current repository per May 24, so the SlackBuild no longer available on SlackHacks