AMD MI200 "Aldebaran" Linux Driver Support No Longer "Experimental"

Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 3 February 2022 at 03:56 PM EST. 14 Comments
Back in November AMD announced the MI200 accelerator that has seen its Linux open-source driver support developed under the "Aldebaran" codename going back to February of last year. The AMD developers are now removing the "experimental" flag from that Aldebaran class GPU support.

It was twelve months ago that AMD published the initial Aldebaran Linux support and continued working on the upstream Linux open-source support for the CDNA-based hardware accelerator well ahead of the official Instinct MI200 debut. This Arcturus successor has matured with new Linux kernel versions and settled down in time for launch.

But to now the Aldebaran support has been hidden behind the "AMD_EXP_HW_SUPPORT" flag. That AMD experimental hardware support flag prevents the support from being activated by default with the AMDGPU/AMDKFD kernel driver unless an override module parameter is set. The amdgpu.exp_hw_support=1 module parameter is what's needed to make use of that "experimental" hardware support, similar to the Intel graphics driver on Linux also requiring a "force probe" option for its experimental/early hardware support.

With a patch sent out today, Aldebaran PCI IDs will no longer be behind that experimental hardware support flag and thus supported out of the box. AMDGPU maintainer Alex Deucher of AMD commented on the patch, "These [Aldebaran devices] been at production level for a while. Drop the flag."

So it's good to know that the Aldebaran support is already considered production-ready and thus moving forward with the Linux 5.18 kernel (or Linux 5.17 if submitted as a "fix" in the coming weeks) will have this Aldebaran support out-of-the-box for the AMD Instinct MI200 series. This is in regards to the upstream open-source Linux kernel support while AMD also maintains their packaged Radeon Software for Linux enterprise driver stack for use on the various RHEL/CentOS/SUSE/Ubuntu enterprise/LTS Linux distributions on older kernels.
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