AMD confirms TPM issue is causing problems for some Windows 11 PCs - but the fix isn't ready yet

AMD offers a workaround for the issue on some Windows 11 PCs, but a BIOS update to fix it properly won't arrive until at least May.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

It looks like Windows 11 users with AMD Ryzen CPUs affected by an issue on their hardware which causes "temporary pauses in system interactivity or responsiveness" will have to wait until May to get a BIOS fix from the chip maker. 

The issue affects Windows 10 and Windows 11 systems with Firmware Trusted Platform Module (fTPM) enabled.

The TPM crypto-processor handles cryptographic operations and is one of several minimum hardware requirements for a Windows 11 system to be considered in a supported state. As Microsoft discussed last year, in an "unsupported state," a PC won't be entitled to receive updates via Windows Update. Users can turn on fTPM in their machine to get a machine compliant with the TPM side of Microsoft's Windows 11 requirements.

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But as spotted by Windows Central, users on Reddit have complained about the issue since January. AMD has now finally explained that it's caused by fTPM memory transactions. 

"Select AMD Ryzen system configurations may intermittently perform extended fTPM-related memory transactions in SPI flash memory ("SPIROM") located on the motherboard," AMD explained

This can lead to the what AMD has described as an "intermittent performance stutter", which some Windows 11 users have seen on their machines, which AMD says can cause "temporary pauses in system interactivity or responsiveness until the transaction is concluded."

According to the Reddit user, the problem lasts about two seconds and happens about three to four times a day, regardless of the programs running. 

But some users on Linus Tech Tips forums reported experiencing the problem after enabling fTPM for Windows 11 back in July 2021. Another user on Lenovo's forum reported the same problem in February 2021

AMD says it will release a motherboard system BIOS update containing "enhanced modules for fTPM interaction with SPIROM". But it won't happen until at least May, 2022. 

"AMD expects that flashable customer sBIOS files to be available starting in early May, 2022. Exact BIOS availability timing for a specific motherboard depends on the testing and integration schedule of your manufacturer. Flashable updates for motherboards will be based on AMD AGESA 1207 (or newer)," AMD said. 

It does, however, detail a workaround. Affected users who need fTPM for TPM support can switch to a hardware TPM devices (dTPM). But AMD warns that in doing so, it's critical that users disable TPM-backed encryption systems such as BitLocker Drive Encryption and/or back up system data prior to switching.

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