AMD Innovations Move Upstream in the Linux 3.19 Kernel

Blog Post created by brystal.boyd Employee on May 12, 2015

opteron a v2.pngIt’s hard to believe we are already almost two months into a new year – and, even though the ball has dropped, 2015 continues to ring in some exciting times for the AMD software community. We recently announced that popular open source software - OpenSUSE 13.2, Fedora 21, and Xen 4.5-  offer support for our upcoming ARM® server processor, and today I’m excited to announce another exciting innovation in extending the software ecosystem for emerging  server technologies.   The Linux® 3.19 kernel, released on Feb. 9, 2015, includes support for AMD's Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA) kernel driver (AMDKFD) and the AMD Opteron™ A1100 Series processor (code named “Seattle”), AMD’s server ARM part based on ARM’s Cortex™-A57 core.


The AMDKFD driver, which has been publicly under development for the past few months, provides an interface for AMD’s graphical processors for non-graphics (e.g. GPGPU) applications and is the kernel portion to AMD's open-source HSA stack. The user-space side is the new open-source, user-space HSA library and other open-source AMD Radeon™ graphics code. The code is architected to support multiple CPUs each with connected GPUs, with the current implementations focusing on the AMD A-Series “Kaveri” and AMD Opteron™ X-series “Berlin” APUs.


HSA is a computing architecture that integrates CPUs, GPUs and other compute devices on the same bus, with shared memory and tasks. HSA, which has been pioneered by AMD, is being developed by the HSA Foundation, which includes ARM and a number of other industry leaders. The goal is to reduce communication latency between these various devices and make them more compatible from a programmer's perspective. The open-source HSA Linux support will continue to be polished over the months ahead.


Speaking of ARM, the Linux Kernel 3.19 also adds support for two new ARM64 platforms: the AMD Opteron A1100 Series processor developer kit, and the ARM Juno developer platformAccording to Linus Torvalds, about 20% of 3.19 kernel changes are architectural updates, with these mostly for ARM and ARM64. As previously mentioned, the AMD Opteron A1100 Series processor developer kit is supported by OpenSUSE 13.2, Fedora 21, and Xen 4.5, providing developers with a rich set of operating environments.

It’s certainly an exciting time to be working on HSA and ARM technologies and on the development of innovations that we believe will be highly competitive in the server market.  Keep following us for more updates on our ecosystem progress and new software releases.



Margaret Lewis is the Director of Software, Server Business Unit at AMD.  Her postings are her own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites, and references to third party trademarks, are provided for convenience and illustrative purposes only. Unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such links, and no third party endorsement of AMD or any of its products is implied.

*Originally Posted by klisa in AMD Business on Feb 20, 2015 10:20:00 AM