Nouveau Patches Posted For Running On NVIDIA GSP-RM Firmware, Initial RTX 40 Ada Support

Written by Michael Larabel in Nouveau on 18 September 2023 at 04:37 PM EDT. 28 Comments
The long-awaited patches for allowing the open-source NVIDIA "Nouveau" upstream Linux kernel driver to leverage NVIDIA's GPU System Processor "GSP" firmware for handling GPU re-clocking and other hardware tasks with RTX 20 GPUs and newer have been posted. With this set of 44 patches also comes the initial GPU hardware accelerated support for the GeForce RTX 40 "Ada Lovelace" GPUs that is built upon this new GSP driver code path.

Ben Skeggs of Red Hat has posted the set of 44 patches providing the initial groundwork for enabling GSP firmware use by the Nouveau kernel driver. While the NVIDIA GSP is present going back to GeForce RTX 20 series, for now the patches do not use the GSP path by default except for the latest RTX 40 series where that is the only option.

With the GSP firmware responsible for more power management tasks and related hardware initialization, it's moved out of the Nouveau driver and in turn GPU re-clocking should be working. This in turn should provide some performance benefits over the current Nouveau (horrible) performance on RTX 20 and RTX 30 series hardware but still other driver bottlenecks remain before Nouveau could potentially compete with the NVIDIA proprietary graphics driver stack.

This Nouveau GSP work is also currently tied to the R535 current stable series firmware. The NVIDIA GSP firmware isn't necessarily stable across driver versions, so we'll see how it plays out in practice.

NVIDIA RTX 30 and RTX 40 graphics cards

With the 44 patches there is then RTX 40 series accelerated support when having the NVIDIA firmware files present on your system. For those on RTX 20 Turing and RTX 30 Ampere GPUs, the nouveau.config=NvGspRm=1 kernel module option is what's needed to get the GSP driver path running.

Enabling the NVIDIA GSP-RM firmware use by the Nouveau kernel driver is around fourteen thousand lines of new code. See the 44 patches if interested. I'll be running some benchmarks once it looks like things are fairly settled. With some luck perhaps we'll see this upstreamed for the Linux v6.7 kernel cycle.
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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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