[coreboot] Adding support for an old motherboard to coreboot?

Urja Rannikko urjaman at gmail.com
Mon Jun 2 19:18:47 CEST 2008

Hi list,

I have an old Acer/IBM V58XA motherboard that was idling useless here.
I have been looking at coreboot for a while and thought that adding
support for my hardware would be a nice challenge for me. I think that
i could learn a lot by making this mb supported, although it's
usefulness in general is questionable (P233, 64M SDRAM).

I actually found the chipset datasheets (Acer/ALi M1531B and M1533)
here http://www.rom.by/doki.htm .

I have a PCI POST card, the MB has an 256k AT29C020 flash ROM. It's
supported by uniflash.
I have a serial "null modem" cable to use for getting debug output.
One problem is that i don't have a bios savior / backup flash chip for
it. I think that i would salvage from somewhere/purchase an additional
flashrom and backup the current bios to it (hotswapping, i have done
it before) and test coreboot using the current flash chip.

It has only an fdd,keyb,vga,mem,cpu,power attached now so struggled to
find an 1.44M linux that would have lspci and stopped there.

Here's pretty much all the spec i know of the MB:
- CPU: Pentium 233 MMX
- RAM: 2*  32MB SDRAM's
- "Memory, Cache and Buffer Controller": ALi M1531 B1
- Southbridge: ALi M1533 A1
- VGA: Integrated ATI RageII+DVD with 2M of memory
- SuperIO: SMsC FDC37C935APM (just found a datasheet for this)

One note is that it seems to be that both the M1533 and the superio
chip have an IDE controller capability and keyboard interface. This
seems odd. I really don't know which chip's IDE this MB uses. (The
M1533 is physically nearer to the ide connectors...)

It has the following connectors available:
- external:
- 2 usb
- 1 rs232
- 1 parallel
- audio conns, game/midiport, vga, ps2 kb&mouse
- internal:
- 3 pci, 4 isa
- 2 ide/ata channels
- fdd connector

Then, here go my questions to the list.
- Should i develop using coreboot v2 or v3?
- Could somebody list me the basic steps of adding a new motherboard
to coreboot(v2 or v3)?
- ------- '' --------- Estimate of the amount of code that needs to be written?
- I took a brief look at the datasheets and it seems that the
motherboard supports SMM (system management mode) and thus has SMRAM
(2 SRAM chips found near cpu) (another one near the M1531). Could this
ram be used the same way as Cache-As-RAM is used on newer

Urja Rannikko

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