[coreboot] coreboot and embedded controllers, for example OLPC and its OpenEC code

Jordan Crouse jordan.crouse at amd.com
Thu Jun 19 00:13:03 CEST 2008

On 18/06/08 15:45 -0500, Ken.Fuchs at bench.com wrote:
> What happened with the OLPC's OpenEC code?  Was that
> ever completed?  Did the name change to something else?
> Is it currently being developed?

I'm not sure what the current status is, you may want to
ask on devel at laptop.org.  As is often the case with
projects like these, there is no shortage of people
eager to begin reverse engineering closed source 
firmware but few of them stick around when they discover
the complexity of the task at hand.

In short, embedded controller code is dark magic.  You need
detailed schematics of your board, a clear indication of the
API that the BIOS requires, a JTAG debugger and a lot of time.
If you think that coreboot is too platform specfic, then you 
haven't seen anything yet.

Aas far as coreboot is concerned, we just don't have access to
information for any EC enabled platform that we might otherwise
support.  The only platform we would come even close to being
in the ballpark of supporting would be the OLPC, but even then
we are missing the schematics and the hardware bits needed to
flash the ROM.

What we need is a freely available EC chip that we can easily
hack on without complex or expensive hardware.  Then the task will
be to come up with a reasonable operating system to provide timers
and provide a general platform for development.  Once you get to
that point, then I think there is a real chance that an OpenEC 
solution could win.  Until then, its going to be black hole that
makes everybody cringe.

Jordan Crouse
Systems Software Development Engineer 
Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.

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