The Less Than Ideal State Of AMD Open-Source Firmware Support In 2022
There's been some activity on AMD open-source firmware support for newer hardware platforms but for those wanting a fully open-source firmware stack, there remains work on older generations of AMD server platforms. Michał Żygowski of firmware consulting firm 3mdeb presented today at FOSDEM 2022 as to the current state AMD open-source firmware efforts around Coreboot.
Since Michał Żygowski's talk last year at FOSDEM on open-source AMD firmware support, Coreboot has seen support for AMD Ryzen 5000 series "Cezanne" APUs. That Cezanne APU support for Coreboot seems to be primarily driven for AMD's Chromebook efforts with Google continuing to mandate it. However, AMD has not yet made available any public Cezanne firmware support package for use with Coreboot.
Something new and not previously covered on Phoronix is AMD working on "Sabrina" SoC support in Coreboot. Sabrina is for Family 17h Models A0h to AFh. Those model IDs have turned up already in Linux 5.17 kernel patches and are next-generation Zen cores. So it's good to see AMD preparing this Sabrina support now, presumably though is just driven with Chromebook intentions.
One addition to Coreboot's amdfetool is working on AMD BIOS recovery support for when the system fails to POST. This amdfwtool for supported systems is allowing it to boot from the backup BIOS image.
While last year there was hope expressed of seeing open-source firmware support for modern AMD EPYC server platforms, at the moment there are no updates. There is also "concerning information" about the AMD server open-source firmware prospects. I haven't heard anything new myself in private channels, but still holding out hope for change...
Also concerning open-source AMD firmware developers is AMD's Platform Secure Boot functionality where CPUs can be locked to particular vendors. Besides this feature blocking use of select AMD CPUs from use in other vendor motherboards, it would prevent complications around being able to load open-source firmware on said platforms/processors.
Meanwhile some older AMD Optera era motherboards with Coreboot ports have seen their code fall behind and not being well maintained in all cases. Those ports not being updated for modern Coreboot interfaces run the risk of ultimately being removed from the source tree.
Some older platforms though like the ASUS KGPE-D16 are seeing a revival in their open-source firmware support thanks to sponsorship with some organizations interested in that platform for blockchain developers and other purposes. Dasharo is being worked on as an open-source firmware distribution downstream focused on simple code, long-term maintenance, and privacy-respecting.
Those wanting to learn more about the open-source AMD firmware efforts by 3mdeb's Michał Żygowski can see his other presentation assets from today up on FOSDEM.org.
Here's to hoping more AMD open-source firmware efforts materialize in 2022...