In preparation for the Steam Deck launch in the coming months, AMD and Valve have been hard at work building a new CPU driver that will enhance the performance and power efficiency of Ryzen-based processors on the Linux platform. One of AMD’s developers, Ray Huang, shared details of the new driver in a presentation last Friday at the X.Org Developers Conference (XDC2021). You can check out the video below for full details.
According to the presentation, the new CPU driver started development when Valve found problems with the current ACPI CPUFreq driver being used today on all Intel and AMD Processors running a Linux OS. The developer found performance problems with games using its Proton compatibility layer, that was caused by incorrect sysfs calls to Wine from the CPUFreq driver. This is particularly worrying because Valve needs this problem fixed if it wants the Steam Deck to run games smoothly with its custom Zen 2 SoC and Linux-based SteamOS.
Once Valve contacted AMD about the matter, AMD also found other issues pertaining to the older ACPI driver, which were causing problems with Ryzen’s performance and power efficiency on Linux.