Updated AMD APU Firmware Helps Systems Stuck On High Memory Clocks, Wasting Battery

Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 28 February 2022 at 01:40 PM EST. 19 Comments
Hitting the linux-firmware.git tree were updated AMD firmware images for Picasso, Raven, and Raven2 hardware with a rather important fix.

The updated Picasso / Raven / Raven2 firmware is important in that it fixes a Video Core Next (VCN) issue on systems running an older BIOS.

Under certain conditions, the memory clock could be stuck in a high state after making use of the Video Core Next (VCN) block for video acceleration. For those systems that this affected, this would generate excess heat and waste battery life with the memory clock being stuck higher than needed after engaging VCN. This firmware should take care of the problem.

Raven / Raven2 / Picasso hardware owners will want to ensure they are on the latest AMD VCN firmware if you've been noticing excess heat / power usage, particularly on platforms with an older system BIOS.

The updated files are available from linux-firmware.git.

Details on this bug, which was open for the past year affecting Linux systems, can be seen here around the memory clock always being stuck to 100% on a Lenovo ThinkPad laptop and that in turn heating up the laptop and greatly reducing the battery life. That bug report went back and forth over the past year with many comments and now with the new firmware files should finally be addressed. Back when the VCN firmware updates were in a proposed/testing state, the binaries were confirmed to fix this memory clocking issue.
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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 20,000 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, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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