[coreboot] [RFC] Netbook Support

Richard Smith smithbone at gmail.com
Sun Dec 14 03:38:31 CET 2008

Carl-Daniel Hailfinger wrote:

> There's also the interesting question about who owns the EC firmware. If
> the manufacturer owns it and has full rights for it, the situation is
> different compared to the BIOS. For example, Quanta (OLPC manufacturer)
> holds some (if not all) rights to the OLPC XO EC code and not BIOS
> vendor was involved.

The bulk of the Copyright is by EnE.  There are a handful of files that 
are Quanta only.  I would not expect many of these in a mainstream 
implementation as they deal with some of the extra stuff we did at OLPC. 
   Quanta has mentioned to me many times that they don't do anywhere 
near that level of work for a normal laptop.

EnE provides a framework and the OEM fills in the blanks.

>>  From what I have heard, I think the VIA processors are
>> the best bet right now for experimentation.  Intel of course, is out,
>> and AMD processors aren't in any netbooks to speak of - and I'm sure
>> if we go to this effort, we would rather have it pay off for a netbook
>> rather then a dinosaur laptop.
> If I'm right about EC code copyrights and usage rights, a cooperating
> manufacturer could easily tell us about the interface for their EC code.

The interfaces themselves and the meanings are mostly described by ACPI. 
     There's an interesting thread on a while back lmkl about data sent 
to port 80 actually being commands to the EC.

But for the parts that are not if I tell you command 0xAA is a private 
command and it toggles Port A IO bit n which controls xyx I may be 
telling you information that only lives in a schematic covered by an 
NDA.  Its tricky.  The legal clearance to release that info my fall back 
onto who owns the design IP rather than who the mfg is and could be hard 
to get.  Doesn't hurt to ask though.

I agree with Jordan however that coreboot may not even need to interact 
with the EC at all.  Just taking the stock stuff and embedding it in 
your image at the right place might Just Work for the things coreboot 
needs.  The rest is all OS issues.

Do any of those netbooks previously ship with Linux?

Richard A. Smith
smithbone at gmail.com

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