AMD "Trusted Memory Zone" Encrypted vRAM Support Coming To Their Linux GPU Driver

Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 11 September 2019 at 09:39 AM EDT. 26 Comments
AMD Trusted Memory Zone support is a new feature being worked on for their open-source graphics driver that works in conjunction with the graphics hardware for being able to encrypt portions of the video memory.

Trusted Memory Zone (TMZ) support appears to be present going back to the original Vega graphics processors but this is the first time we're seeing it implemented on the Linux side. Trusted Memory Zone protects the contents of TMZ'ed pages from being read by the CPU (non-GPU) clients and fend off writes to the protected pages. AMD TMZ support is being used to offer secure buffer object support on Linux.

The Linux kernel driver will expose buffer object level protection and expose a new "encrypted" flag to user-space with the GEM memory management ioctl for allocating memory with the secure buffer TMZ bit in the PTE set. Only trusted blocks within the GPU (graphics, SDMA, VCN engines) are able to decrypt the encrypted data. Volleyed today were the AMDGPU kernel driver patches for this Trusted Memory Zone support while the user-space libdrm patches and the rest are coming.

The kernel portion is up for review here. Ultimately the support will be available out-of-the-box on supported GPUs, but for now it's hidden behind the amdgpu.tmz= module parameter until the support is completely baked. Due to the timing, the AMD TMZ support will land in Linux 5.5 at the earliest.
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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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