AMD Seeking Comments On DC/DAL Code, Wants To Land It Soon For Future GPU Support
Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 8 December 2016 at 10:11 AM EST. 32 Comments
AMD developers sent out a "request for comments" of their Display Core (DC, formerly known as DAL) code-base that they are hoping to merge soon as it's needed for the bring-up of future GPU support. It looks like they will initially merge the code just for the yet-to-be-released GPUs and will then gradually switch it on for currently supported Radeon GPUs.

Harry Wentland of AMD made their plans of DC more clear in an email sent early this morning, "We propose to use the Display Core (DC) driver for display support on AMD's upcoming GPU (referred to by uGPU in the rest of the doc). In order to avoid a flag day the plan is to only support uGPU initially and transition to older ASICs gradually. The DC component has received extensive testing within AMD for DCE8, 10, and 11 GPUs and is being prepared for uGPU. Support should be better than amdgpu's current display support."

For those living under a rock, DC is necessary for HDMI/DP audio, FreeSync, atomic mode-setting, HDMI 2.0 functionality, and other modern display features.

AMD DC code is where they do all of their QA work, OEM preloads, custom engagements, and behaves the same as their driver code on other operating systems. The email also mentions that AMD's upcoming GPU makes use of a "completely re-designed" Atom BIOS interface, thus no plans to bring-up the new GPU support on non-DC code-paths.

AMD developers continue to clean up their DC code and are still making some improvements to address feedback of other developers, but appear to be moving forward in wanting this code to land in AMDGPU for the future GPU support. AMD isn't yet ready to open-source their new GPU support code yet. More details via this RFC email thread. Given this email, it's looking indeed like they'll probably push for landing the DC code in Linux 4.11, but keep in mind they are intending to gradually transition existing hardware support over to this new stack.
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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 or contacted via

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