[coreboot] [patch] DDR3 support of AMD Family 10

Carl-Daniel Hailfinger c-d.hailfinger.devel.2006 at gmx.net
Wed Jul 21 23:49:35 CEST 2010

Hi Greg,

On 21.07.2010 22:04, Greg Scantlen wrote:
> We build clusters, mainly for LANL.I'm hoping to bid on a RFQ that
> involves coreboot for some custom cluster nodes. I've been
> benchmarking a supermicro *H8QGi-F* motherboard with (4)x 6128 CPUs
> and (16)x 4GB ECC UnBuff DDR****.Would this be a good candidate for
> core boot?

AFAICS it looks like a good candidate, but you'll have to do a bit of
development work. If you're lucky, you can get this done in a few days.
The good news is that the chipset looks supportable (may even be
supported already in part), and the board has a serial port which will
help you tremendously for debugging.
IPMI may be a bit of a challenge because some IPMI controllers screw up
booting of any custom firmware unless you know how to silence those IPMI

> I'm just starting reading the Howto on coreboot now. I do have
> experience with flashing BIOS - is that technique sufficient or should
> I have special equipment to get started? Thanks for your guidance in
> advance.

If you want to do any serious development, I recommend to make sure the
BIOS flash chip is socketed (solder a socket on the board if not), or at
least check for a SPI recovery connector. You absolutely want a fast SPI
flash programmer or ROM emulator which works under the operating system
you're using for coreboot development (which will probably be Linux).
Make sure to compare prices (and consider the option to run the
programmer software in VMware if you can't get a Linux version). You
will likely reflash the chip a few hundred times during development, and
you want flashing to be fast and reliable.
Oh, and make sure the flash chip you're using has fast programming time
(vendors usually ship cheap flash, not fast flash, and your time is
worth a lot more than a few cents for a faster chip).

A nullmodem cable for the serial port will be crucial for debugging, and
a POST card is recommended as well.

I usually recommend to get your feet wet with a desktop board that is
already supported and cheap, and to move on to the real target only
after that board runs fine. That way, you get a feeling for working with
coreboot, and you know what to expect. One of the supported AMD 780
boards might be a really good starting point.

Side note: I'd be really happy if you could test flashrom
<http://www.flashrom.org/> on those boards and submit test reports to
flashrom at flashrom.org.



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