Tag Archives: Support

AMD Zen-Derived Hygon Dhyana Appears To Be Working On Coreboot Support


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Chengdu Haiguang IC Design Co with its Hygon Dhyana processor that is based on AMD Zen IP appears to be pursuing Coreboot support.

While AMD EPYC CPUs haven’t seen Coreboot support to date, it appears Hygon Dhyana support is being worked on as the Chinese company posted their first Coreboot patch.

The first patch is just adding some basic constants with this being the company’s first venture into the Coreboot space and doesn’t provide any actual Coreboot enablement. But they wouldn’t be going through the process of adding this patch if there wasn’t more in the pipeline.

Given how similar Hygon Dhyana is to first-generation EPYC, it does raise the possibilities that any Coreboot enablement could end up benefiting those AMD processor owners. Sadly, AMD has been divested now from Coreboot since well before the Zen CPUs rolled out, but we hold out hope they could change their ways as well as potentially open-sourcing AGESA especially if Intel opens up their FSP as expected.

Stay tuned for more about the Hygon Dhyana hardware with Coreboot.


Intel Has Been Recently Ramping Up Their FreeBSD Support


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While Intel’s open-source Linux support is largely stellar and was a big focus of this week’s Open-Source Technology Summit in Washington, their FreeBSD support isn’t nearly as polished but over the past roughly year and a half they’ve been establishing a FreeBSD team and working towards feature parity and supporting critical functionality for their customers.

As written about last year, Ben Widawsky who had long been part of their Linux graphics driver team began part of the effort on improving the FreeBSD support around Intel hardware. Ben spoke Wednesday at OSTS 2019 about this FreeBSD improvement voyage.

It turns out this FreeBSD effort was established largely following Spectre/Meltdown mitigation coming to light. FreeBSD didn’t see Spectre/Meltdown mitigations as quickly as the other operating systems that were working on the mitigations while still embargoed. Following feedback from a major FreeBSD house and Intel customer, that led to taking a look at the FreeBSD situation on Intel in terms of providing more funding to the FreeBSD Foundation and allocating developer resources to this open-source OS.

Following a call for feedback for other areas that Intel could improve their FreeBSD support, Ben and the other developers involved got to work and continue working to enhance the Intel architecture support on this popular BSD.

Over the past roughly year, they’ve been striving towards better power management, improved Intel microcode CPU handling, vTune support, Turbostat support, initial work on persistent memory support for the likes of Optane DC Persistent Memory, and OVMF support for Bhyve.

Some of the next items they are evaluating continuous integration (CI), Thunderbolt 3 enablement, Intel Quick Assist Technology, NUMA scalability enhancements, and any other customer needs. The development time is obviously limited but Ben clearly demonstrated a passion for FreeBSD going back to when he was working on their BSD-derived code for the Larrabee project back in the day. Hopefully with these efforts, we’ll see better Intel hardware launch-day support on FreeBSD moving forward.




Librem 5 Developer Kit’s Mainline Kernel Support Hits 12th Patch Revision


HARDWARE --

While it’s just the DeviceTree additions needed to the kernel for enabling the Librem 5 Developer Kit to boot with the mainline kernel, the DT files are up to their twelfth patch revision.

With the Librem 5 Developer Kit leveraging the existing Linux kernel’s i.MX8 support, the Dev Kit support addition is introducing the DT files around the board. With this, the board has enough to boot to the command prompt. Though surprisingly for being just the DT, it’s taken 12 patch revisions to get where it’s at today. This latest revision is just trivial changes, so hopefully it’s a sign that the DT support could be ready soon for the mainline kernel. But with the Linux 5.2 kernel merge window passing, likely it won’t land until Linux 5.3.

Those interested can find the latest Librem 5 Developer Kit DT via the kernel mailing list. Keep in mind this is just for the developer board itself and not the delayed Librem 5 smartphone that is still under development and will likely require other kernel changes as well.


Linux 5.2 Ups Laptop Support From A New Intel Power Button Driver To Better Ryzen Input


HARDWARE --

Both Intel and AMD laptop hardware are seeing various improvements coming with the in-development Linux 5.2 kernel.

First up, Linux 5.2 will finally offer better compatibility with many AMD Ryzen laptops out there… In particular, as previously covered, the new AMD PCIe MP2 I2C controller driver has been merged and allows many laptop touchpads / touchscreens to finally function accordingly under Linux. It has taken a long time for this AMD driver to get into shape for mainline but it’s here with Linux 5.2 to finally provide out-of-the-box/working touchpad/touchscreen support without requiring an out-of-tree DKMS module or hitting other snags.

The AMD PCIe MP2 I2C controller driver is the headlining feature of the I2C pull request for the ongoing Linux 5.2 merge window.

Meanwhile on the Intel laptop front, the platform-drivers-x86 pull has a few goodies. There is a new “intel_mrfld_pwrbtn” driver providing Intel Basin Cove power button support as found on some Merrifield-based devices. It’s about time on that front with the Atom Merrifield products having come out back in 2014.

Other laptop work includes the ASUS WMI driver now having Fn lock mode switch support, switching from a blacklist to whitelist for dealing with non-working WiFi on newer Lenovo IdeaPad systems, EC information on newer Lenovo ThnkPads is now properly recognized, and various other quirks/fixes.

Plus the tons of Linux 5.2 improvements in general will surely please many Intel/AMD laptop owners once switching over to this new kernel that will debut as stable in July.


Nouveau Gets Initial Support For NVIDIA TU117 (GeForce GTX 1650)


NOUVEAU --

While it missed the main DRM pull request for Linux 5.2, the Nouveau DRM driver now has initial support for NVIDIA’s Turing TU117, the GPU powering the new GeForce GTX 1650 series.

Nouveau DRM maintainer Ben Skeggs of Red Hat committed the support to their staging tree on Thursday for this TU117 enablement. The TU117 support is largely based on their existing Turing TU106 GPU support and amounts to just 36 lines of code.

Like the existing Turing support by this open-source NVIDIA Linux driver, currently it’s limited to just kernel mode-setting (display) support. Nouveau doesn’t yet offer any hardware acceleration for Turing GPUs as they are blocked by NVIDIA, waiting on them to release the necessary signed firmware images needed for initialization.

But even when those Turing firmware blobs end up being released, there will still be the issue like with Maxwell / Pascal / Volta of only running at the boot clock frequencies without any re-clocking support for being able to drive the hardware at its optimal clock frequencies. For overcoming that challenge, additional firmware support or workarounds need to be devised around the PMU handling. Until that happens, the Nouveau performance past the GeForce GTX 700 series remains very slow.

At least the GeForce GTX 1650 does run well on the proprietary NVIDIA driver as outlined in our GeForce GTX 1650 Linux review. If you care about open-source driver support, however, the Radeon RX 570 is a much better bet.