The AMD Linux Drivers Do Not Yet Support Radeon "Navi"
Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 19 December 2017 at 05:47 AM EST. 8 Comments
RADEON --
Since yesterday several (Windows-focused) publications have been running stories about how AMD's next-gen "Navi" GPU was supposedly spotted in the AMD Linux driver code.

But, the thing is, there isn't yet support in the open-source Radeon Linux driver stack for the next-gen Navi GPUs... The code reference that other sites are showing off is:
new_chip.gfx10.mmSUPER_SECRET => 0x12345670
new_chip.gfx10.mmSUPER_SECRET.enable[0:0]

Yep, some "super secret" string and it mentioning "GFX10" meaning next-gen compared to the current "GFX9" Vega chips.

But that small snippet they are citing is from this patch back in July on the mailing list. But this patch isn't even for the AMD Linux driver itself... It's UMR: AMD's open-source GPU debugger they started work on about one year ago.

The purpose of the patch in question isn't about supplying Navi/GFX10 GPU support either. Rather, this patch is just about allowing arbitrary new GPU information from a file to this UMR debugger...

Where the "gfx10 mmSUPER_SECRET" comes from isn't even any code for the UMR debugger itself, rather just code added to a demo file for showing off and testing the new functionality for UMR. Funny, the demo code even calls it "Fakerizo" as a play on a "fake" Carrizo APU. Further reinforcing the fake/demo code is the 0x12345670 address.

So AMD Navi wasn't exactly spotted within the AMD Linux driver at all. When there is open-source driver support for Navi, you can certainly expect to read about it on Phoronix and all the Linux benchmarks once released.


AMD Navi GPUs are expected in the second-half of 2018 and to be manufactured on a 7nm process and use either GDDR6 or HBM3 memory. It's also anticipated the Navi architecture will be comprised of several smaller GPU dies. Hopefully the Linux driver support for Navi will come on time now that AMDGPU DC is merged, their Vulkan driver being open-sourced, and other code getting fit.
About The Author
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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 10,000 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 or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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