Updated AMDGPU VCN Firmware Fixes VP9 Decoding Issues

Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 4 March 2024 at 06:04 AM EST. 12 Comments
For those that have experienced glitches while playing back VP9 video content using AMD's Video Core Next (VCN) for GPU acceleration, updated firmware should fix those VP9 decode problems.

Merged last week to linux-firmware.git was new AMDGPU VCN firmware binaries to deal with VP9 decoding glitches. The VP9 decode headaches were originally reported for Rembrant APUs but the updated firmware corrects the VP9 troubles for Navi 1, Renoir, VCN3, and VCN4 platforms, among others.

Rembrandt laptop with Linux

The original bug report explains at least some of the VP9 VCN troubles as:
"While playing youtube videos with vaapi enabled, either in firefox or mpv, I see that the video freezes for 2-3 seconds while the audio keeps playing. The video catches up after that and starts playing again. This happens only on the vaapi path (e.g., default Firefox behaviour or mpv --hwdec). It does not happen in chromium or mpv without hwdec. The visual stutter does not cause the 'frames skipped' counter to jump up on youtube in firefox. Nor does it produce any other errors in the mpv log or dmesg. I have seen this on vp9 videos, but I don't know if it affects other encodings."

So if you've been experiencing similar VP9 decode issues with AMD graphics hardware, you'll want to update your /lib/firmware/amdgpu/ files from linux-firmware.git.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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