The new firmware would go through a multi-year, four phase development cycle before being ready for production use in 2026.
AMD recently shared its plans to replace its AMD Generic Encapsulated Software Architecture (AGESA) firmware with an open source substitute named Open Source Silicon Initialization Library (openSIL) at a regional OCP summit hosted in Prague.
For contemporary computer systems, firmware is an essential component, and for contemporary AMD systems, that crucial code blob is AGESA. The platform’s CPU cores, chipset, and memory are among the subsystems that AGESA is in charge of initialising. It is frequently updated to support new hardware and fix faults.
But despite all the benefits that firmware offers, a system’s vulnerability to cyberattacks can make it a weak point. In order to increase security, AMD has suggested making the design, architecture, and validation of the Silicon Initialization Firmware open-source as part of their new firmware programme. OpenSIL is intended to be light, transparent, simple, safe, and scalable. AMD has a history of promoting open-source software and driver solutions.
The Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI), as first reported by Phoronix, is not intended to be replaced by openSIL; rather, it is meant to be integrated with other host firmware, such as coreboot, reboot, and FortiBIOS. The vendor can statically link it to the host firmware and obstruct any host firmware protocols because it is written in a common industry language.
The 4th-generation AMD EPYC (Genoa) processors and associated platforms are currently compatible with openSIL, which AMD is testing in the Proof-of-Concept (POC) stage. In the POC phase, the fifth-generation EPYC (Turin) CPUs will also be used. By 2026, AMD plans to phase out AGESA and make openSIL the standard option for the 6th-generation EPYC series.
AMD acknowledges that openSIL is still a work-in-progress but that it is already quite competitive with AGESA. It might not be available until Zen 6 or even Zen 7 because openSIL won’t be ready until 2026 and AMD’s most current roadmap lists Zen 5 for 2024. On the client side, AMD has not yet provided a predicted roadmap, however AGESA will eventually be replaced by openSIL on all AMD devices.