AMD Instinct MI100 "Arcturus" Bits Added To Linux-Firmware.Git

Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 5 April 2021 at 01:00 PM EDT. 1 Comment
While AMD's open-source Linux graphics driver developers have been working publicly on the "Acturus" GPU support going back to 2019 that was then introduced last year in the form of the Instinct MI100, finally today has the necessary binary firmware been upstreamed into linux-firmware.git for enabling the rest of the open-source AMD Linux driver stack.

For over one year the mainline Linux kernel has offered the AMD Arcturus GPU support and has continued improving with succeeding kernel releases. For its intended purpose the ROCm 4.0 compute stack introduced the MI100 support at launch. Mesa also has Arcturus support for video acceleration.

But as is the case, to get the open-source kernel driver actually initializing the hardware the GPU firmware/microcode is necessary. AMD has tended to hold off on publishing the binary-only firmware files until the products have launched, seemingly in an effort to prevent anyone from trying to disassemble it to learn additional hardware details prematurely or other intricacies. The firmware is also in flux until nearing the end of preparing for launch.

So as with the recent Radeon RX 6700 XT upstreaming, today marks the Acturus/MI100 bits landing in linux-firmware.git.

Using Arcturus on Linux has been possible already on recent kernels and other software components as mentioned but having to rely on AMD-provided firmware within their packaged driver. But now with the files in linux-firmware.git, they will in turn get picked up by the various Linux distributions in time for then appearing out-of-the-box on updated Linux distributions.

There are 10 files making up the initial Arcturus support package. Those 10 binaries come in at 1.75MB combined for Arcuturus.
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