[coreboot] Intel ME what is it? And when did this dangerous thing get installed?

John Keates john at johnkeates.com
Mon Sep 3 12:46:14 CEST 2018

> On 3 Sep 2018, at 11:54, Philipp Stanner <stanner at posteo.de> wrote:
> Am Mittwoch, den 29.08.2018, 04:09 -0400 schrieb Youness Alaoui:
>> If there are more specific questions that you have, ask them and I
>> might be able to answer them!
> I might have one: What does stop a motherboard-vendor from just buying
> a CPU and implementing it? Which chips, beside the CPU, do you need
> from Intel in any case to make the machine work?

As usual, it boils down to money. You also need data from Intel to make a CPU work (microcode, FSP).
Creating a chipset, making RAM work etc. can easily cost you hundreds of millions. On top of that, it’s hard to make money off of it, making it double-bad from a capitalistic-commercial perspective.
There is a reason you don’t get to choose a chipset anymore; Nvidia and VIA (and others) once were in the business of making chipsets, but not any more.

> I always thought of the CPU just as a machine executing code, and
> assumed it's possible to use it just as any microcontroller: You can
> add the ME-Chipset, but you don't have to.

Well, yes and no. There are plenty of CPU models out there that require specific Intel code to work, some of them cryptographically locking anyone else out.
End-users don’t care, and technical users don’t have enough power to do anything about it on the Intel side of things.

> Philipp
> -- 
> coreboot mailing list: coreboot at coreboot.org
> https://mail.coreboot.org/mailman/listinfo/coreboot


More information about the coreboot mailing list