AMD Publishes Vega Shader ISA Documentation
Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 10 August 2017 at 09:38 AM EDT. 30 Comments
RADEON --
While the Radeon RX Vega line-up hasn't even been officially launched yet, AMD's GPUOpen initiative has already made public the instruction set architecture (ISA) of Vega.

Coming as a surprise this morning while everyone else is getting excited over the Threadripper launch, open-source fans can get excited over the Vega shader ISA documentation.

247 pages have been dropped today as the Vega Instruction Set Architecture Reference Guide. It's available via developer.amd.com.


This guide also briefly compares some of the ISA differences from Vega to older architectures. Certainly great for developers wanting to optimize the shader potential every little bit by hand for Vega or when debugging paired with the Radeon Graphics Analyzer or other debuggers. As well as for those possibly looking to work on the AMDGPU LLVM compiler back-end with Vega enhancements.

So far there hasn't been any programming reference guides on the hardware itself, which has let up in recent years from AMD in favor of focusing on the driver, but at least AMD takes care of the work on the open-source driver well and via the mega header files within the AMDGPU driver you can get a look at all of the registers, etc. And the shader ISA is what most other (non-driver) developers are just after anyhow.

Major kudos to AMD/GPUOpen for getting the Vega shader ISA documentation out in a timely manner, so go forth and grab it. NVIDIA, meanwhile, keeps their ISA a closely guarded secret with referring developers to just target PTX.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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