AMD Publishes New Instinct MI200 Instruction Set Documentation

Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 20 March 2022 at 07:25 AM EDT. 2 Comments
AMD quietly posted a new version of its instruction set architecture documentation concerning its Instinct MI200 accelerator. AMD originally published the ISA documentation for the MI200 back in November but it seems to have gone unnoticed (including by me) while in February they went ahead and released a new version of that technical documentation.

In the early days of AMD's open-source Linux graphics driver effort they accompanied their driver source code with GPU documentation releases too for helping the community and other parties bring-up their original graphics driver stack. There were thousand and thousands of pages of GPU technical documentation published by AMD for helping this open-source driver effort. However, with time they have focused less on the documentation and more on quality open-source code. The documentation clearing for public release is quite time consuming especially for going through the legal and technical review processes to get those official docs out there in the public light. AMD has found that time better spent working on the open-source Linux driver stack itself for ensuring its good quality and trying to ensure its code is fairly documented and also having complete register header files in the driver as opposed to assembling documentation on the registers.

One area though where AMD has continued with publishing proper GPU documentation is on the actual graphics processor instruction set. As properly understanding the ISA is of benefit to many external parties, that public documentation effort continues.

Noted this week in LLVM Git was reference to the AMD MI200 documentation being published.

The docs referenced are marked as published in February 2022 for the AMD Instinct MI200. It seems that documentation push went unnoticed/unannounced as I haven't seen it mentioned anywhere yet besides when spotting the LLVM Git change. Looking around further, it appears there was also the original AMD Instinct MI200 ISA documentation published back in November that too went without fanfare. There isn't any change-log for the alterations between the November and February documentation revisions.

But in any case for those interested in learning more technical details about the CDNA-based AMD Instinct MI200 accelerator, see the AMD reference guide (PDF). This ISA guide comes in at 275 pages.
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