More AMDGPU Work For Linux 4.19 Has VCN + PSP Firmware Hookup For Future Hardware
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 17 August 2018 at 05:29 AM EDT. 18 Comments
AMD --
The good news is that the open-source AMD graphics team continues working on support for upcoming hardware, but the bad news is that it looks like their VCN video hardware might be a bit more locked down than it is now.

With current Raven Ridge APUs there is VCN as "Video Core Next" as a replacement to UVD and VCE for video decoding and encoding, respectively. This dedicated hardware core for video encode/decode has been supported well now for some months on the open-source Linux graphics driver stack. The latest patches hitting the mailing list for hopeful integration to Linux 4.19 are a bit interesting and reveal a change for future hardware.

With Thursday's amdgpu drm-next-4.19 has just a few changes but the main work is adding support for VCN into the PSP driver and allowing the VCN booting with firmware that is loaded by the PSP. It's said that "this is required on upcoming parts."

PSP in this context is the controversial Platform Security Processor. Basically the PSP is going to be responsible for setting up the firmware for the VCN video encode/decode hardware using a "Trust Memory Region" mac address.

There's nothing immediate that should cause concern, but the change may be of interest to those free software individuals that don't like hearing "PSP" and "firmware" talked about often by open-source drivers. But let's hope these future AMD parts won't be faced by any other restrictions. From my personal perspective, I'm just glad to see more confirmation of their continual and punctual work on supporting upcoming/future hardware.

Besides this firmware loading change, this pull request also contains a few display fixes for Linux 4.19.
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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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