AMD's Linux Driver Gets Power Management In Order For Unreleased "Arcturus" GPU

Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 29 July 2019 at 05:03 PM EDT. 9 Comments
Earlier this month AMD's Linux driver team sent out their initial open-source patches bringing up the "Arcturus" GPU as a new Vega family product. Today a second batch of patches adding in two thousand more lines of Linux kernel driver code were sent out.

AMD has yet to announce this new product powered by the "Arcturus" GPU and it's not to be confused with the new Navi parts. This is a new Vega-based processor with HBM memory tailored for ROCm/OpenCL compute, there is no 3D engine, and it goes along with LLVM's new AMDGPU GFX908 target that was recently added.

SIGGRAPH is this week and there's been no AMD product announcements, though considering SIGGRAPH is graphics aimed and Arcturus has no 3D engine, it's likely a safer bet that this accelerator could be announced next month at Hot Chips if AMD is timing it for a major industry event. Lisa Su will be keynoting the event on opening day lending more credence it could be announced there.

This Arcturus part isn't just a rebranded Vega 20 but on top of the patches volleyed two weeks ago are 30 more patches today. The work presented today is on the power management front with getting PowerPlay working for Arcturus as well as features like being able to read the GPU load / power / temperature sensors and other bits. There is also various bug fixes.

This AMD Arcturus support is slated to go into the kernel with Linux 5.4, which will see its merge window open around mid-September and the Linux 5.4 kernel should debut as stable in November. Granted with this being a professional product, the timing of the kernel cycle isn't as important as on the consumer side. Most AMD enterprise customers are content with using the Radeon Software for Linux driver stack with its packaged bits for enterprise Linux distributions like RHEL/CentOS, Ubuntu, and SUSE Linux Enterprise.

Aside from the kernel bits, the other support for Arcturus in user-space will come in AMD's Radeon Open eCosystem (ROCm) stack and there AMD has complete control over the software cycle.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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