AMDKFD Linux Driver Begins Preparing For VI Carrizo APUs
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 8 January 2015 at 01:45 PM EST. 22 Comments
AMD --
Patches published by AMD today prepare the AMDKFD Linux kernel HSA driver for initial support of forthcoming AMD "VI" APUs.

Volcanic Islands is the codename for the AMD GCN 1.2 architecture that's currently in use by just the Radeon R9 285 "Tonga" graphics card. GCN 1.2 provides a more efficient ISA, video scaler improvements, a new multimedia decode/encode engine, improved performance, and other optimizations.

The Volcanic Islands will come to AMD's APUs with the forthcoming "Carrizo" products. Carrizo will feature the latest GCN graphics while featuring "Excavator" CPU cores, DDR3/DDR4 memory support, and other new features. Carrizo will premiere later in 2015. Prototypes of Carrizo hardware are being shown off this week at CES in Las Vegas.

The open-source AMDKFD patches published today prepare the initial VI APU support ahead of Carrizo's launch. There aren't any new graphics support patches for these APUs as the new hardware will be handled by the yet-to-be-published AMDGPU kernel driver rather than the existing Radeon DRM driver. The new AMDKFD driver patches prepare for using the AMDGPU driver and make other changes in readying for Volcanic Islands.

The new AMDKFD driver patches can be found via the dri-devel list and will presumably be ready for merging into the Linux 3.20 kernel. Hopefully soon we'll see the new AMDGPU kernel driver finally surface -- right now the lack of the next-gen AMD open-source code is blocking open-source support for the Radeon R9 285.
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