A nice consequence of Linux being open source is that additions to its code can be public before specific information about upcoming hardware components. AMD has recently added some 13,000 lines of code to the Linux kernel to add support for the Vega 20 GPU, which many interpret to be the 7 nm Vega destined for machine learning applications. Much of the code is for allowing it to run emulator code and many of the code paths are the same as those for the Vega 10 driver. Interestingly though, the patches enable version 7.2 of UVD, Unified Video Decoder, the video decoding ASIC within AMD GPUs. There are six PCI IDs associated with Vega 20, but manufacturers typically over-reserve these, and so they are not indicative of the number of SKUs.
The timing of these patches does not tell us anything about when Vega 20-based products might launch, though experimental hardware support should be able to make it into the Linux 4.18 kernel cycle. Hopefully patches for user-space driver components will be appearing soon, as they are typically not far behind kernel code patches.
Back to original news post