Radeon RX 6700 XT "Navy Flounder" Microcode Lands In Linux-Firmware.Git

Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 22 March 2021 at 08:30 AM EDT. 5 Comments
Following last week's release of the AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT graphics card and Radeon Software for Linux 20.50, the new "Navy Flounder" microcode required for this GPU to function with the open-source AMDGPU Linux driver stack has been published.

Merged a few minutes ago into linux-firmware.git as the de facto repository for all the firmware/microcode binary blobs for Linux systems was that Navy Flounder firmware as well as updated binaries pulled from the 20.50 packaged driver.

With this commit are the Navy Flounder microcode binaries required for initializing the Radeon RX 6700 XT with the open-source AMDGPU Linux kernel graphics driver.

Raven/Raven2, Navi 10, Renoir, Vega 10, Navi 12, Vega 12, Navi 14, Picasso, Vega 20, and Sienna Cichlid saw updated microcode to match their 20.50 packaged state. There isn't a published change-log but as it's just the jump from 20.45, there is likely nothing too significant with those refreshed binaries.

So if not using the Radeon Software for Linux 20.50 packaged driver on a supported enterprise Linux distribution, users wanting the latest upstream open-source support on the Radeon RX 6700 XT should be good to go if pulling down linux-firmware.git now paired with Linux 5.11+ and Mesa 21.0+ (ideally, Mesa 21.1-devel for the best performance at the moment).

The recent trend has been AMD not publishing these necessary firmware/microcode files until after launch, which makes the initial open-source driver support at launch a bit of a headache for novice Linux users. Presumably this is done to prevent anyone from trying to disassemble and analyze those blobs prior to the GPUs launch, but we'll see what improvements can be made going forward for easing this process. At least obtaining the binaries aren't much of a chore and better support compared to years ago when at-launch open-source driver support often meant patching and compiling your own kernel.
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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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