AMD Engineers Held Several Interesting Talks At This Week's Linux Conferences

Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 15 September 2022 at 09:35 AM EDT. 1 Comment
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While we are used to seeing Intel engineers dominating the speaker lists at various Linux events around the world, it's been a number of years since AMD engineers held multiple presentations like they did this week for the Linux Plumbers Conference and now the Open-Source Summit EU taking place in Dublin, Ireland.

AMD engineers regularly participate in the annual X.Org Developers Conference (XDC) with a talk or two to outline improvements and/or new features being worked on with the Radeon graphics side. But when it comes to AMD's CPU side of the house, I can't recall an event in a number of years where AMD has held more than three talks. Then again, the in-person events are slowly returning and AMD's marketshare continues to increase, particularly on the EPYC server side of the house that also obviously is very important for Linux. But also thanks to design wins with the likes of the Linux-powered Steam Deck, we are beginning to see an increased AMD presence at Linux events.

It's a nice change compared to a number of years often seeing no AMD talks or if lucky one talk, compared to sometimes a dozen or more Intel engineers presenting at Linux conferences and other open-source events. It's a return for AMD as well since a decade ago back during the times of AMD Fusion/HSA they tended to speak at more events, promote their efforts like taking over MeeGo at the time, sponsoring Linux events and giving away Opteron mouse-pads with GCC compiler tuning flags on them, and various other AMD Linux engagements particularly during the days of their since defunct Operating System Research Center in Dresden.


Several Linux events are happening this week in Dublin, Ireland of which AMD has increased participation compared to prior years.


AMD engineers Gautham R Shenoy and Prateek Nayak presented at Linux Plumbers Conference around their work on split-LLC and user-space hinting for tasks, following that RFC patch series submitted last week. This work they hope to eventually have upstreamed in some form would allow further enhancing the performance of AMD EPYC servers on Linux. Those interested can see their PDF slide deck and a video recording of the talk embedded below.


Ray Huang of AMD meanwhile presented on fine-grain frequency control with kernel governors. This stems from AMD's recent work on the P-State CPU frequency scaling driver and most recently pursuing the P-State EPP driver. There is the slide deck for those interested while the video recording isn't currently available.


AMD's Ashish Kalra meanwhile presented on interrupt security under Linux with AMD SEV-SNP. There is that slide deck (PPTX) for those interested.


There were also other AMD-related talks at Linux Plumbers Conference where AMD was tied in via Secure Encrypted Virtualization (SEV) and other technologies while the talks were done by their partners at the likes of SUSE and Google.

Meanwhile Open-Source Summit Europe is now running in Dublin for the remainder of the week with additional AMD talks. Edgar Iglesias with AMD-Xilinx talked about open-source QEMU and RTL co-simulation, Ray Huang had a second talk about the AMD P-State driver effort for the OSS Europe audience, and Bruce Ashfield of AMD talked about embedded containers with Yocto.

It's great seeing noticeably more participation by AMD at Linux events while still not to the level of engagement by the likes of Intel / Google / Red Hat engineers at these events. It's just not basic AMD participation either but technical talks rather than marketing presentations / sponsor showcases / fluffy topics as some vendors frequently engage in at LF events. It goes in-step with AMD's increased contributions to the mainline Linux kernel over the past two years or so particularly ramping up both on the client and server sides in ensuring more timely hardware support, enabling new features under Linux, etc. Hopefully all of this continues going nicely and this is just the start of more good things to come from AMD on the open-source/Linux front.
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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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