Radeon "Southern Islands" Support Continues Improving In AMDGPU Driver - GPU Reset
Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 28 July 2020 at 12:00 AM EDT. 30 Comments
RADEON --
The AMD Radeon GCN 1.0 "Southern Islands" graphics processors continue seeing open-source driver improvements on Linux in 2020.

There continues to be the trend by AMD and other open-source developers on improving the GCN 1.0 / Southern Islands support within the AMDGPU kernel driver. By default GCN 1.0 (and GCN 1.1) use the "Radeon" DRM kernel driver by default where as GCN 1.2+ through Navi 2 are all using the AMDGPU driver. For years there has been experimental support for GCN 1.0/1.1 in this AMDGPU driver while in recent months there seems to be some effort on getting the original "Graphics Core Next" GPUs into better shape on this driver.

AMD recently squared away GCN 1.0 UVD video decode support for the AMDGPU driver along with new firmware files. Outside of AMD, there's been work on getting DC display support working for these GPUs. Now the latest on this front is a patch from AMD Radeon Linux driver maintainer Alex Deucher to get GPU reset working on AMDGPU for GCN 1.0.

GPU reset is for -- as the name implies -- allowing GPU reset capabilities such as in the case of hangs. Newer GCN generations support GPU reset fine on the AMDGPU kernel driver while the GCN 1.0 support hasn't been wired up.


This patch is based on the GPU reset support from the older Radeon DRM driver and now allows GPU reset capabilities for Southern Islands.

The work is too late for Linux 5.9 now but will be interesting to see what more is squared away come Linux 5.10 and if AMD ends up endorsing (or changing the default) to AMDGPU for these original GCN parts. The switch to AMDGPU generally means slightly better performance, running on more maintained driver code in general, and perhaps most importantly is that using the AMDGPU kernel driver allows the RADV/AMDVLK Vulkan drivers to function on this hardware.
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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 or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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