NVIDIA Posts Firmware Needed For Open-Source GeForce 16 Series Acceleration

Written by Michael Larabel in Nouveau on 19 February 2020 at 08:00 PM EST. 36 Comments
As written about last week, in the works for the Linux 5.7 kernel this spring is open-source NVIDIA "Nouveau" acceleration for the GeForce 16 series. That code is currently sitting in the Nouveau development tree until landing in DRM-Next for Linux 5.7, but NVIDIA has now posted the necessary firmware binaries needed for enabling the hardware acceleration on these Turing GPUs.

With the current Linux 5.6 kernel cycle there is initial open-source acceleration for the NVIDIA RTX 2000 "Turing" graphics processors. For that code in Linux 5.6, NVIDIA posted the TU102/TU104/TU106 signed firmware at the end of January and got that merged into the linux-firmware.git tree.

Now merged today to linux-firmware.git is the signed TU116/TU117 firmware. The TU116/TU117 is what is found inside the GeForce GTX 1600 and GTX 1650 series graphics cards.

This means that as long as you are pulling from linux-firmware.git for the latest firmware images, by the time Linux 5.7 rolls down you will have hardware-accelerated support. Granted, as of writing no OpenGL support for Turing has landed in the Nouveau Gallium3D driver and not to mention the lack of a working open-source NVIDIA Vulkan driver yet.

These latest NVIDIA signed firmware drops also don't cover the PMU firmware, which means that the Nouveau performance will continue to be piss poor due to being stuck at boot clock frequencies rather than the rated GPU/vRAM frequencies. Until this gets sorted out, the GeForce GTX 900 series and later performance off the Nouveau open-source driver is extremely limited.

These signed firmware files are needed for hardware acceleration since the GeForce GTX 900 series. With the GeForce GTX 700 Kepler/ Maxwell (GTX 750) GPUs and older, there weren't signed firmware requirements so Nouveau through reverse engineering was able to generate their own firmware for initializing the different hardware blocks.
Related News
About The Author
Michael Larabel

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.

Popular News This Week