AMD Navi 10 Firmware Finally Lands In The Linux-Firmware Tree
Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 23 September 2019 at 07:36 AM EDT. 15 Comments
RADEON --
While AMD has provided open-source Radeon RX 5700 series (Navi 10) support since launch and that code since worked into the various mainline code-bases from the Linux kernel to Mesa, one kink in their support has been their binary microcode images not being available from the reference linux-firmware.git location as needed to initialize the hardware. That Navi 10 firmware/microcode issue has finally been rectified with the images landing this morning.

Up until now any Radeon RX 5700 series Linux customers or distribution/third-party driver packagers have had to pull these binary bits from this Navi10 directory on the personal site of AMDGPU lead maintainer Alex Deucher. Via his site is where he normally stages these binary microcode files until landing in linux-firmware.git as the de facto location for all Linux drivers' firmware files.

For reasons unknown, it has taken until today for that Navi 10 firmware/microcode to make it upstream. The good news is that as of today it's now in place. This is particularly good news for Linux distributions who build their linux-firmware package from here but may be unaware of the Navi 10 firmware out-of-tree or uninterested in pulling from different locations, which would mean no Navi open-source GPU support working up until now.

Besides needing these microcode files, for open-source Linux Navi graphics support you also should be on Linux 5.3+ and Mesa 19.2+ along with LLVM 9.0+. As is generally the case with new GPUs on Linux, the newer these components will generally yield more features and performance with the likes of Mesa 19.3 and Linux 5.4 likely being a sweet spot for the Radeon RX 5700 series 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 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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