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Latest in Linux 5.8: NVIDIA/Nouveau Changes, L1d and POWER10

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  • Open-Source NVIDIA/Nouveau Changes Submitted For Linux 5.8

    There hasn't been too much to report on the open-source NVIDIA "Nouveau" kernel driver in some time since the enabling of Turing and no apparent progress on re-clocking to allow the graphics cards to hit their rated clock frequencies (the longstanding, number one limitation for this open-source driver), but some changes were sent in today for the upcoming Linux 5.8 kernel merge window.

  • Linux 5.8 Set To Optionally Flush The L1d Cache On Context Switch To Increase Security

    The Linux kernel patches that have been spearheaded by Amazon AWS engineers to optionally flush the L1 data cache on each context switch have now been queued in the x86/mm branch ahead of the upcoming Linux 5.8 kernel cycle.

    This L1d cache flushing on context switches is being done in light of the various CPU security issues that have come to light in recent times and acknowledging there are likely other yet to be discovered vulnerabilities. Flushing the L1d cache on context switches helps fend off data from being snooped or leaked via side channels.

  • Linux 5.8 To See Support For POWER10's Prefixed Instructions

    Beyond the usual excitement of numerous x86 and Arm hardware advancements each cycle, Linux 5.8 is bringing new IBM POWER enablement work.

    Recently there has been an uptick in open-source/Linux enablement work for the forthcoming POWER10 and that holds true for Linux 5.8. There has been a patch series going around recently for introducing prefixed instruction support on the POWER front for a "future revision of the ISA." That work is now ready and queued ahead of the Linux 5.8 cycle opening up in early June.

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AMD Graphics: Big Navi, RADV and Radeon

  • Fishy AMD Sienna CiChlid reference gets added to Linux driver patches, likely to be 'Big Navi' Navi 21

    About 207 patches for a new AMD GPU codenamed Sienna CiChlid have been committed to the AMD Radeon Linux Driver. Evidence from these patches suggests that Sienna CiChlid could, in fact, be Navi 21 aka Big Navi. The Sienna CiChlid Linux driver patches confirm support for VCN 3.0 and DCN 3.0 while a leaked slide indicates GDDR6 support and advanced clock and voltage control.

  • RADV Enables Zero vRAM Option For All Games With VKD3D

    Mesa's Radeon "RADV" Vulkan driver is now enabling the "zero vRAM" option for all VKD3D games -- Direct3D 12 titles running on Steam Play / Wine with this D3D12 to Vulkan layer -- in order to workaround various rendering bugs. Doom Eternal (native Vulkan, but still requires this workaround), Metro Exodus, and various other DirectX 12 games that rely on VKD3D when running under Steam Play / Wine have been hitting "colorful graphical aberrations" with the RADV driver but the issues go away when setting RADV_DEBUG=zerovram. As such, that option is now being enabled by default when VKD3D is present.

  • Radeon ROCm 3.5 Released With New Features But Still No Navi Support

    Radeon Open Compute 3.5 (ROCm 3.5) is now available with a number of improvements but surprisingly still no GFX10/Navi support. ROCm 3.5 was released today as the successor to ROCm 3.3 with no v3.4 milestone having been made public. Highlights of ROCm 3.5 include: - The Heterogeneous Compute Compiler (HCC) has been deprecated in favor of the HIP-Clang compiler for compiling HIP programs. The HIP-Clang code has been seeing a lot of work upstreamed into LLVM/Clang os overall this should be good in the long-run.

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