AMD will phase out AGESA (AMD Generic Encapsulated Software Architecture) initialization and bootstrap libraries in 2026 in favor of openSIL (Open-Source Silicon Initialization Library) libraries to simplify the creation of UEFI firmware for server and consumer platforms.
AMD processor users will be familiar with the AGESA acronym, as the company releases updates to this software every few months. AGESA is a set of libraries designed to initialize and boot AMD processors. Whenever new AMD processors or new RAM formats appear on the market, such as B. the recent 24GB and 48GB DDR5 modules, the manufacturer releases new versions of AGESA that add support for new products. Based on these libraries, motherboard manufacturers develop their own BIOS versions.
New software is often targeted by cyber criminals. The problem is that platform users have limited access to check the security of the software running on their system. For this reason, in April this year, AMD introduced the openSIL project, a set of open libraries containing components to simplify the creation of firmware. The idea of the project is to move the hardware initialization code into separate, independently tested and maintained openSIL libraries, written in the popular C language, which can be statically linked to the main firmware without using specific protocols.
It is important to note that openSIL is not a replacement for UEFI. The libraries provided allow you to quickly and easily add support for the required hardware to standard UEFI firmware, as well as alternative firmware built on the CoreBoot, oreboot, FortiBIOS, and Project µ platforms. Freeing developers from the need to separately maintain firmware for specific devices, the project is initially evolving as an open and transparently developed toolkit that also improves firmware security, simplifies testing, allows for independent verification, and bug and vulnerability tracking unified. Simply put, AMD will offer full control over systems, which is especially important for hyperscalers.
AMD announced at the 2023 OCP Regional Summit its plans to phase out AGESA in favor of openSIL by 2026.
“Since OCP is primarily focused on the server segment, I won’t show you a roadmap for client platforms. I said earlier that when you do something, it has to be scaled to the server and consumer segments. In this case the same. We plan to cover all consumer and server platforms by 2026.”said Raj Kapoor, AMD Distinguished Researcher and Chief Software Architect, in a speech at the 2023 OCP Regional Summit.
openSIL is currently in proof-of-concept and is only supported by 4th generation EPYC server processors (Genoa) and the corresponding platforms that work with them. Support for 5th generation EPYC processors will also be under proof of concept. openSIL will debut in 2026 with the release of the 6th generation of EPYC processors.
“Consumer platforms will too <...> expected by 2026 [это коснётся] all [наших] Products. AGESA’s time is coming to an end. They will be replaced by openSIL”said Kapoor in response to a question from the audience.
AMD is aware that there is still work to be done on openSIL, but at the same time the new technology is already almost equivalent in functionality to AGESA. Based on the company’s latest roadmap, Zen 5 processors are expected to be released by 2024. OpenSIL will not be ready for release until 2026. Therefore, the transition to using new libraries is expected with the release of processors on Zen 6 or Zen 7.