AMD: Ryzen’s fTPM stuttering Issues will be fixed with May BIOS updates

AMD issued an announcement regarding the now-long standing issue with stuttering on Ryzen devices with fTPM. The company said it has successfully fixed it and shipped the update to motherboard vendors. But don't expect it to become available right now. The new firmware will be tested for around a month internally and then will see the light somewhere in May 2022. The company also offers a right-now solution for whose who depends on TPM features.

fTPM is a security mechanism that replaces a dedicated TPM device. The AMD CPU invokes fTPM for encryption operations by accessing an immutable secure key from the BIOS block.

As noted by the company, in the first firmware implementation for a number of system configurations, AMD Ryzen processors may intermittently execute fTPM-related extended memory transactions in the SPI flash memory (SPIROM) located on the motherboard, which can lead to temporary pauses in interactivity or the response of the system before the completion of the transaction.

The stutering issue affects AM4 systems with Zen+ to Zen 3 architectures running both Windows 11 and Windows 10.

To address the shortcoming, AMD has provided motherboard manufacturers with updated libraries. The new motherboard firmware will be available for the AMD AGESA 1207 product line or newer.

It can be perfectly fine for some users to disable TPM, especially if they run Windows 10 that doesn't strictly require it. But Windows 11 is a different story. Windows 11 requires either a physical TPM key or fTPM support.

AMD advises customers who need to have TPM enabled to do the following steps.

  1. First, they need to disable the security software that uses TPM, like BitLocker
  2. The next step is to disable the fTPM feature in BIOS.
  3. Finally, they should use an external discrete TPM device that won't affect the performance of the system.

The solution doesn't look universal and may not suit everyone's needs. Some motherboards and devices simple don't have the required interface for connecting TPM. Also, the module is not cheap.

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