Sound Open Firmware For AMD Audio Hardware Arrives, Initially For Renoir ACP

Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 17 November 2021 at 05:28 AM EST. 9 Comments
Back in 2018 Intel founded Sound Open Firmware as their effort to provide an open-source audio DSP firmware and software development kit. AMD has begun supporting Sound Open Firmware too now, initially for the Renoir audio co-processor (ACP).

Sound Open Firmware as a Linux Foundation project has been maturing over the past three years and now supports a wide-range of Intel hardware with other audio hardware also becoming supported. Ultimately it's about having open-source audio DSP firmware and a SDK to better support modern audio processing. In the SOF documentation it's summed up rather broadly, "The Sound Open Firmware SDK is comprised of many ingredients that can be customized for use in the firmware/software development lifecycle. Customization allows for a “best fit” development approach where the SDK can be optimized for a particular process or environment. Some SDK ingredients are optional while there can be more than once choice for other ingredients."

With last month's Sound Open Firmware 1.9 release they began adding support for AMD Renoir hardware along with the NXP i.MX8ULR, Mediatek MT8195, and on the Intel side is Alder Lake support. There has also been work underway for supporting Sound Open Firmware on Microsoft Windows.

This week the patch series was sent out providing the SOF kernel driver support for the Renoir audio co-processor hardware.

With this being the first AMD audio DSP platform supporting Sound Open Firmware, it also adds the necessary build infrastructure and the new Kconfig switches. AMD is putting their Sound Open Firmware kernel driver code for Renoir out under a GPLv2-only or BSD 3-clause license.

This is just the latest of a fair number of AMD audio patches we've seen for Linux from new hardware support to making improvements such as this SOF bring-up. With Google using Sound Open Firmware for Chromebooks, this is possibly among the reasons why AMD is investing now in SOF audio platform support. Given the timing of these kernel patches, the soonest we'll see this Renoir ACP SOF support land would be in the v5.17 cycle.
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