[coreboot] AMD doesn't get it either in some ways (the bastards!!!)

mrnuke mr.nuke.me at gmail.com
Fri Apr 4 19:38:07 CEST 2014

On Friday, April 04, 2014 10:00:41 AM ron minnich wrote:
> I have this nice board, with a nice AMD cpu, and I get no graphics.
> Why? Because AMD won't release the VGA blob. So the board is headless.
Are you talking about a board which originally came with IBV firmware? In that 
case, you may be able to extract the blob from linux while running on said 

> Another addition to the blob matrix. sigh.
How can you add a blob that you don't have? And what CPU is that? Do you think 
we can get native VGA init running? (fork thread if you answer this second 

> It's really not that just one vendor is bad and one is good. AMD has
> its issues too.
So, say I have this Intel southbridge. I go online, look it up, and I can get 
a public datasheet with register definitions and programming information. So 
now I have this Hudson southbridge. It's AMD, so it should be a piece of cake 
to get everything I need, right?

Turns out the only public document on that is an erratta sheet (DING-DONG!). 
So, I ask around , and it turns out that that there's an AMD Embedded 
Developer site which should have this info. OK, so maybe I didn't know where 
to look. I go to said site, and it requires registration (DING-DONG!). I start 
the registration process, and I am asked to agree to an NDA (police siren!). I 
read that NDA, and it does seem to disqualify me from contributing to coreboot 
(police siren getting closer!), as this would not be considered using the 
information for "internal evaluation". An NDA for a register guide? What the 

So, I go to AMD's email support form, where they have a nice category for 
"Technical Documentation", and I explain why I cannot agree to said NDA, and 
politely request the documents I need. They tell me that's not possible 
without the NDA. So I ask them if I can get an NDA which explicitly allows 
FLOSS. I get a (sales) phone number.

AMD is full of...
On the other hand, nothing beneficial to them has come from coreboot. I can't 
blame them for losing interest. They get involved, contribute, spend time and 
money making their stuff upstreamable, and everyone still uses chips from 
competitors who are hostile towards coreboot. I bet they're pretty pissed off 
about this. I definitely would be if I were in their shoes.

> It's a wonder I have any teeth left, given all the gnashing I get to do :-)
Dentistry has come a long way in the past decades.


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