NVIDIA Cleans Up GSP Firmware Binary License

Written by Michael Larabel in NVIDIA on 31 May 2023 at 08:38 AM EDT. 34 Comments
With yesterday's NVIDIA R535 Linux driver beta one of the unlisted changes with this driver update is revising the driver license around the firmware handling to make it more explicit around permitting the GPU System Processor (GSP) firmware binaries to make it easier for redistribution and use by the Nouveau open-source kernel driver.

Per this GitHub ticket that's been open the past year, there have been questions raised over allowing the GSP firmware binary to be redistributed, especially with the license at that point stating "no separation of components" and NVIDIA acknowledging some clarifications may be needed.

NVIDIA RTX 30 graphics cards

Longtime NVIDIA Linux engineer Andy Ritger commented on Wednesday:
"For whatever it is worth, the EULA contained in the 535.43.02 proprietary driver package was overhauled. There is no longer any language to prohibit separation of components, so gsp.bin (well, now gsp_tu10x.bin and gsp_ga10x.bin) can be distributed separately from the rest of the driver."

Thus now it's easier to be legally in the clear over allowing NVIDIA's GSP firmware binaries to be redistributed completely separate from the NVIDIA Linux driver package, such as for shipping in linux-firmware.git or elsewhere for allowing the Nouveau DRM kernel driver to make use of it. Nouveau developers at Red Hat continue working on making use of the GSP firmware for improving the open-source driver support on the GeForce RTX 20 series and newer. By leveraging the GSP, the power management / re-clocking challenges that have long plagued Nouveau should be addressable to deliver better performance. It's the same GSP firmware binary as used by NVIDIA's open GPU kernel driver.
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