AMD Continues Linux Driver Enablement For Additional "Aldebaran" Instinct GPU

Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 27 March 2023 at 06:00 PM EDT. 4 Comments
Over the weekend I wrote about AMD beginning to post new graphics driver patches for a new GPU. As pointed out in that earlier article, it looks to be a new AMD Instinct MI300 / "Aldebaran" GPU model and today more patches were posted that further confirm this target.

New patches posted today were KFD patches for GC 9.4.3, one of the new IP block versions mentioned in the earlier article. The AMDKFD "Kernel Fusion Driver" is the compute kernel driver side... Of course, a very important part for AMD Instinct accelerators and is the kernel portion for enabling the ROCm compute stack. These patches further confirm that this new GPU target is another Aldebaran-derived target currently comprising the Instinct MI200 and MI300 series.

For the most part this new GPU is following the existing Aldebaran code paths within the AMDGPU and AMDKFD drivers though following that KFD GFX943 enablement were another 28 patches making further modifications.

Among the patches is confirmation of multi-XCC support with this new GPU.

Also sent out today were patches for VCN 4.0.3 support. This VCN 4.0.3 enablement is related to this new GPU target and among other improvements brings multiple JPEG rings. AMD Video Core Next 4.0 debuted with Navi 3x (RDNA3) GPUs while this updated VCN 4.0.3 IP is being found with the new CDNA GPU.

As for what this new part is can't be entirely figured out yet based on the limited patches published thus far. Namely whether this is for some new Instinct MI300 derivative part like an Instinct MI310/MI350 or if it's for a more pronounced offering like MI400. Whatever the case, it's coming much later than the rest of the MI300 / GFX940 Linux enablement and given AMD's Linux driver enablement cadence this product won't be launching for a number of months if not until 2024...

At the earliest these initial enablement patches will appear in Linux 6.4 but will likely take a cycle or two (if not longer as is commonly the case with new kernel GPU driver code) for all the new GPU enablement code to get squared away depending upon how different this new GPU is and whether more invasive driver changes are needed. At the least it won't be well until the back half of 2023 before the kernel support is potentially squared away. Given the importance of Linux on AMD's workstation/HPC/accelerator offerings, it wouldn't be surprising if this is an AMD 2024 product based on the new IP bring-up starting now. It does seem like it will be incremental over GFX940 though based on the version number of "943" rather than "950", but we'll see how it all plays out and in any event it's great seeing AMD continuing in their open-source driver bring-up pre-launch.
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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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