Dear folks and techpriests,
the more I want to contribute and learn about low-level-code the less I understand, it seems.
1. cb switches the CPU immediately to Protected Mode, yet Payloads like seaBIOS work in Real Mode. Does coreboot switch the CPU always back to RM before jumping to the payload? 2. When CB switches to PM - who generates and administrates the Page Tables and where? 3. Gustavo Duarte writes http://duartes.org/gustavo/blog/post/how-computers-boot-up/ that GRUB switches from protected mode to real mode and vice versa all the time to address >1MiB of RAM and also use the BIOS-calls. If this is true using GRUB as payload would not work, as GRUB needs to call the non-existent BIOS, right? 4. Once CB is in PM it can't access physical addresses anymore? It doesn't need to, too? 5. PM means RAM-access is only possible through virtual addresses which are translated by the MMU using the Page Tables. This question is similar to [2.]: If coreboot generates the Page Tables and the payload would start in PM as well (is this even possible? At least the Linux-Kernel has entry points for RM and PM) this would mean the payload needs to use the Page Tables generated by CB. That wouldn't be a problem as they're linked in the register CR3 anyways?
And an unimportant bonus question:
* Why does every modern CPU still start in RM? I do get the compatibility problem, but on the other hand: Do you need it for anything beside booting MS-DOS on your Ryzen? Is it really impossible for AMD and Intel to create a new CPU-generation with the x86-instruction set without RM, 16-bit-registers and 20-bit-mode registers like CS, SS etc. No modern OS uses bios calls. No CPU is ever switched to RM again after booting up. They should get rid of this old stuff.
Would be cool if someone could put this in its true light.