November 29, 2023

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Linux Kernel 5.17 Brings Massive Improvements to AMD Hardware

3 min read

Linux Kernel 5.17 Brings Massive Improvements to AMD Hardware


Linux Kernel 5.17 Brings Massive Improvements to AMD Hardware

Along with the build-out of the Linux talent team and the acceleration of support for next-generation hardware, the Linux 5.17 kernel in development will see significant improvements to a number of AMD features, as well as new advances in AMD compatibility and processing for Linux .

Tech media Phoronix reported on the feature overview of Linux 5.17, and now the final version of the new feature has been submitted and marked as Linux 5.17-rc1.


Now, Linux Kernel 5.17 has entered the candidate version stage of weekly updates, and is expected to be officially released in late March this year.

Phoronix reminds users that Linux 5.17 will not be the default kernel for Ubuntu 22.04 LTS, but Fedora 36 and many spring Linux distributions will use this kernel version.


Here’s a look at the key AMD features incorporated into Linux 5.17

● The new AMD P-state driver is officially ready for release. This driver was developed in collaboration between AMD and Valve to help improve power efficiency on Linux platforms compared to the standard ACPI CPUFreq driver.

AMD’s P-State driver relies on ACPI Co-Processor Performance Control (CPCC), which is partially exposed by the platform in creating more granular computer processor frequency and availability of performance state information. With ACPI CPPC, AMD’s P-state is only compatible with Zen 2 and future processors as long as CPPC is enabled.

Combined with the Scheutil manager, AMD P-State should allow more performance than current processes utilizing CPUFreq and Schedutil.


● There are many developments in the latest Zen 4 processor technology, including updates to EDAC and SMCA, including identifying registered DDR5 and load-shedding DDR5 memory categories for reporting purposes. The K10 temperature write support appears to be merged earlier than planned, with promise post-launch, as has usually been seen in the past, especially on the Zen 1 to 3 series. This lack of support doesn’t show up well for accessing just-in-time CPU support for temperature monitoring.


● AMD Smart Trace Buffer (AMD STB) is a circular data buffer that records system execution information and analyzes faults from within. AMD STB is always active and can be wiped when errors occur without any additional instrumentation or re-creation of errors to find a solution. AMD Smart Trace Buffer support is officially complete, and both the CPU and Radeon dGPU parts will be ready in Linux 5.17 when taking advantage of newer hardware.


● Hardware for AMD Renoir now supports Sound Open Firmware for its audio coprocessor. Linux 5.17 will be the first AMD platform to support Sound Open Firmware, which was traditionally integrated as an Intel project but has since lapsed.


● Also, on AMD’s Linux laptops, fixes AMD s2idle glitches, and the latest collection of AMD’s S2idle/S0ix related Linux jobs. Many newer Asus motherboards with X570, B550, B450, X470 chipsets will now include support for working sensors – a first for the Linux platform. Linux 5.17 also introduced support for Rembrandt SoC networking.


● Provides GPU recovery and Van Gogh’s seamless boot for Rembrandt APUs, as well as several other bug fixes, and will be updated to be more compatible in the future. The AMDGPU DRM kernel driver aspect this time around isn’t as exciting as some of the recent kernel releases.


● Finally, Linux 5.17 can use AMD 3DNow. AMD Fusion APU systems with Hudson D4 chipsets are expected to improve boot times. Instructions are located within the kernel’s code.


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