[coreboot] Coreboot Purism BIOS is free? open?

Todd Weaver todd at puri.sm
Sun Dec 24 00:27:25 CET 2017

On Sat, 2017-12-23 at 11:39 +0100, Nico Huber wrote:
> If you get the i.MX8 for it (and it turns out to be as good
> documented), all you have to do is to ask for a board with the most
> powerful version that physically fits a Librem 13 [1]. Then you can
> offer trustworthy hardware vs. performance and let your customers
> chose.

"all you have to do" is simplifying the "all we have to do" a little.

But let me confirm our top-level plans as it relates...

The Librem 5 is the catalyst for us to produce a motherboard that fits
into the Librem 13/15 ... etc. So that part is spot-on.

We will then offer:
Librem 13 i7
Librem 13 i.mx8
Librem 15 i7
Librem 15 i.mx8

This will probably be able to happen in 2019. The "all we have to do"
is (not even limited to) design, prototype, test, modify, tool, fund,
fabricate, productize, develop, inventory, quality control, ship,
publish, and support.

> There are ofc alternatives to i.MX. Most use a graphics core where
> free drivers are a problem. Though, a proprietary driver in the OS is
> far less troublesome than blobs in your firmware (or the ME).

I am not convinced this is the consensus. For one critical test that
this would fail: PureOS being listed as an FSF endorsed distribution =
no proprietary drivers in the OS (plus a lot of other things, but that
is the only relevant part to the comparison).

So our approach I believe is still the best approach. Start with
hardware people want, work to free it (NOTE: This is how GNU started in
OS freedom, and I believe that was the best approach there as well).
Since we have to invest in i.mx8 for the phone, then we can cross-
polinate that investment into a lesser expensive, lesser performance,
RYF compatible laptop board that fits into our existing cases.

> Once you buy a reasonable quantity of an SoC, you can ask if they can
> make the next generation with RISC-V instead of ARM. Unlikely to get
> that soon, but way more likely than Intel changing their silicon for
> you.

Moving to RISC-V is on the "we will evaluate and would love to do it."
roadmap, and we will continue to follow the progress there to produce a
device that is RISC-V when it crosses the threshold of "stable
available product". Part of that determination is based on the talented
coreboot community, talking to Ron about this at the last coreboot
conference helped guage the tests for "when" this will be able to be
put into a product.

> Nico
> [1] I'm convinced that this is easily doable.

"easily doable" see above.

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