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Parts of AMD GPU firmware could become open source – talks with Tiny Corp

As reported by Tom’s Hardware, Tiny Corp is pretty sure that AMD could open source its Radeon firmware by next week. Tiny Corp and AMD have been talking about issues that have arisen in preparation for the RX 700XTX Tiny Box, which was intended for AI tasks. If AMD decides to use an open source platform, Tiny Corp and other developers could work on bugs faster and possibly get more performance out of the AMD GPUs.

According to the company, the talks went quite well. They report that the firmware has been promised as open source (and apparently the MLPerf training bug will also be fixed). They also said they weren’t open source purists and didn’t care whether the HDCP material was open or not…..


AMD has been using ROCm since 2016, an open source software that has also been supporting Radeon and Radeon Pro cards for a few months now. However, it is important to emphasize that ROCm is only a software that controls the behavior and performance of GPUs. However, the firmware is likely to be just as important. The Micro Engine Scheduler (MES) firmware that runs on AMD GPUs was developed exclusively by AMD and is not open source.

George Hotz, the founder of AI startup Tiny Corp, expressed his frustration on his X account that the MES is not open source. He called on AMD to stop developing high-end ML libraries and fix basic things like compilers and drivers. These comments came in response to a problem Tiny Corp. had with an RX 7900 XTX card that was supposed to be used in their TinyBox computers. AMD then tried to solve the problem with a patch. If the firmware had been open source, Tiny Corp. might have been able to find a solution itself more quickly.

After Tiny Corp. made the faulty firmware public, CEO Lisa Su of AMD stated that the company was working on a solution. Tiny Corp. also considered whether Nvidia or Intel could be an alternative. Hours later, Tiny Corp. announced a meeting with AMD representatives. Tiny Corp. also launched a poll on the X network asking whether AMD should release its firmware as open source. 52.8% voted “no”.

After the meeting, Tiny Corp. expressed confidence that AMD would release at least parts of the firmware, especially the scheduler and memory hierarchy management, as open source. This is exactly what the AI startup needs to boost the performance of neural networks. However, it remains unclear what exactly the company expects from AMD.

Should AMD decide against releasing it as open source, this could lead to Tiny Corp. deciding against using RX 7900 XTX cards and instead considering competitors such as Intel or Nvidia. Intel in particular could be favored as they offer cheaper options. However, this decision could have far-reaching consequences for AMD, as many AI companies prefer open source. Therefore, it is important that AMD finds a balanced approach.

Source: Tom’s Hardware




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"die bei der Vorbereitung zur RX 700XTX Tiny Box aufgetreten sind"

Ich kaufe eine 9 :cool:

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Samir Bashir