AMD Develops “PMF” Linux Driver for Better Desktop/Laptop User Experience


AMD recently began releasing Linux patches for a Platform Management Framework “PMF” driver designed to “improve the end-user experience by making AMD PCs smarter, quieter and more energy efficient by adapting to user behavior and environment.

The AMD PMF Linux driver aims to improve the client user experience for AMD PCs and laptops running Linux. At least on a high level this sounds like what Intel is already doing for their hardware on Linux with their various thermal/power kernel drivers paired with their Thermald userspace daemon in userspace to support its Dynamic Platform and Thermal Framework (DPTF).

The new driver is described by AMD engineer Shyam Sundar SK as follows:

AMD PMF Driver (aka Platform Management Framework) provides a centralized framework based on sensor inputs, operating system indications, platform status and APU metrics to dynamically manage performance, power and system thermals.

The driver’s goal is to improve the end-user experience by making AMD PCs smarter, quieter, and power-efficient by adapting to user behavior and environment.

Broader goals include:

– Enable easy customization of smart PC solutions by OEMs.

– Provide a framework for OEMs to add custom algorithms and solutions

– Improve standby and dynamic platform power with active power management of platform devices.

In this series, support for the following features has been added.

– “Static Power Slider” intended to manage the power budget according to the power modes or the position of the slider.

– “Auto Mode” tracks the mobile power average of the APU and makes smart decisions to switch between different modes.

There are already things like ACPI Platform Profile support as a standard which is already supported by some laptop vendors with AMD Ryzen SoCs on Linux. AMD’s PMF seems to go further, like Intel’s DPTF thermal/power management on Linux, as a healthier solution for their hardware platforms. AMD PMF should enable better thermal/power control over the system, giving Linux users easier access to fan control etc.

This driver interacts with the system’s AMD power management firmware. At least initially, target support is for hardware with an “AMDI0102” ACPI ID and is being introduced with recent Ryzen 6000 “Rembrandt” mobile SoCs. Presumably, AMD PMF will be supported by all future client platforms, including desktop APUs. On the Windows side, it looks like they have been working on PMF support in their chipset driver since the start of the year.

According to my AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 6850U Linux benchmarks with the ThinkPad X13 Gen 3, Ryzen 6000 “Rembrandt” laptops already run well on Linux, while PMF support has the potential for power/thermal improvements.

Over the past year, AMD has hired more on the client side for Linux enhancements. AMD has also seen success with Linux clients, such as the Tesla in-car infotainment system, Valve’s Steam Deck, and other Linux laptop preloads. AMD PMF should help well in these efforts for future generations carrying PMF.

Currently, the 1.4 kb lines of new hardwired kernel code for the AMD PMF driver is being reviewed on the kernel mailing list and has gone through a few rounds of revisions over the past few days. If all goes well, the AMD Platform Management Framework driver could be merged for Linux 6.1 later this year.


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