Microcode Blobs Added To Linux-Firmware For Latest AMD Hardware
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 4 September 2015 at 03:00 PM EDT. 23 Comments
AMD --
The proprietary firmware files for Carrizo, Fiji, Tonga, and Topaz graphics processors from AMD have been added to the linux-firmware tree.

For the modern AMD graphics processors supported by the new AMDGPU DRM driver, their respective firmware files are now present within linux-firmware.git. For the past few months, these files were just available from Alex Deucher's personal website. Now being part of linux-firmware Git should see that they get rolled out in the next round of Linux distribution updates, etc.

These firmware files for Tonga/Fiji/Carrizo/Topaz are to be installed in /lib/firmware/amdgpu compared to the firmware files for all earlier AMD GPUs being in /lib/firmware/radeon. These files are necessary for hardware acceleration and without them the open-source AMD driver doesn't fully function. These firmware files also cover the UVD and VCE blocks to make for a full-functioning open-source driver.

It's these firmware files that have upset the GNU Linux-Libre folks. Additionally, the license on these newly-added files reads, "No reverse engineering, decompilation, or disassembly of this Software is permitted."

The commit landing the AMDGPU firmware files yesterday can be found here. The Fiji open-source driver changes are landing in Linux 4.3 while the Tonga/Carrizo support is already present with the AMDGPU roll-out in Linux 4.2, as outlined in Running The AMD Radeon R9 Fury With AMD's New Driver.

Meanwhile, I still haven't seen the signed firmware files anywhere for the Maxwell GTX 900 series from NVIDIA so there can be accelerated open-source Nouveau support.
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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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