In the last months there was lots of activity in the coreboot
repository due to upstreaming the work that was done in Chrome OS’
branch. We’re happy to announce that both code bases are again
relatively close to each other.
In the last 7 months, about 1500 commits that landed in coreboot
originated in Chrome OS’ repository (of about 2600 total). Those came
from 20 domains, which represent pretty much every part of the
coreboot community: well known private and commercial coreboot
contributors, but also BIOS and silicon developers as well as device
As a result, upstream benefits from lots of new features and hardware
support that was introduced during Chrome OS development, some of
which warrant a shout out:
First, new hardware support: There’s MIPS support, and on the ARM side
we now run on SoCs by Broadcom, Marvell, Qualcomm, and RockChip.
In terms of infrastructure, the biggest single item that came up
during upstreaming is probably a safe method to declare the memory map
on devices. Compared to x86, most architectures that prospered in
embedded applications have a more complicated view on memory, so more
care is required there.
Looking at files like
src/soc/nvidia/tegra132/include/soc/memlayout.ld, it becomes clear
what kind of memory is available for which purpose on that SoC.
In addition to that, there are efforts to make Chrome OS’ verified
boot available as an option in upstream coreboot, and also to update
the flash image format to allow for safer incremental updates.
One thing to note is that significant contributions that went into the
tree recently were written with active support by Broadcom,
Imagination Technologies, Intel, Marvell, Nvidia, Qualcomm, and
RockChip. Welcome to coreboot!
In the future, Chrome OS will move over to a new branch point from
upstream, and work on strategies to avoid diverging for two long years
again. Instead, we’re looking for ways to keep the trees closer while
also avoiding flooding the coreboot.org
developer base with hundreds
of patches. More on that as it is implemented.
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