[flashrom] ANNOUNCE: flashrom 0.9.1 is out

Carl-Daniel Hailfinger c-d.hailfinger.devel.2006 at gmx.net
Tue Feb 2 15:53:18 CET 2010

After many months of testing, and 5 months after tagging the release, we
are happy to announce that flashrom 0.9.1 is ready for your machines.

flashrom is a utility for reading, writing, erasing and verifying flash
ROM chips on mainboards, SATA/network controller cards and external

flashrom is often used to flash BIOS/EFI/coreboot/firmware images
because it allows you to update your BIOS/EFI/coreboot/firmware without
opening the computer and without any special boot procedures.

After nine years of development and constant improvement, we have added
support for every BIOS flash ROM technology present on x86 mainboards
and every flash ROM chip we ever saw in the wild.

Highlights of flashrom include:

    * Parallel, LPC, FWH and SPI flash interfaces.
    * Support for on-mainboard programming and external programmers.
    * 192 flash chip families and half a dozen variants of each family.
    * Flash chip package agnostic. DIP32, PLCC32, DIP8, SO8/SOIC8,
      TSOP32, TSOP40 and more have all been verified to work.
    * 78 different chipsets, some with multiple flash controllers.
    * Special mainboard enabling code for dozens of nonstandard mainboards.
    * No physical access needed. root access is sufficient.
    * No bootable floppy disk, bootable CD-ROM or other media needed.
    * No keyboard or monitor needed. Simply reflash remotely via SSH.
    * No instant reboot needed. Reflash your ROM in a running system,
      verify it, be happy. The new firmware will be present next time
      you boot.
    * Crossflashing and hotflashing is possible as long as the flash
      chips are electrically and logically compatible (same protocol).
      Great for recovery.
    * Scriptability. Reflash a whole pool of identical machines at the
      same time from the command line. It is recommended to check
      flashrom output and error codes.
    * Speed. flashrom is much faster than vendor flash tools.
    * Supports Linux, FreeBSD, DragonFly BSD, Nexenta, Solaris, Mac OS
      X. Please refer to the README for build instructions.

Thanks go to everyone who contributed to flashrom over the years.

Please note that rewriting your flash chip can be dangerous and flashrom
developers make no guarantees whatsoever. That said, many users have
successfully replaced proprietary tools such as awdflash, amiflash and
afudos with flashrom.

If you have a laptop, we advise against using flashrom for now. Many
laptops share their flash chip between the main CPU and an undocumented
embedded controller which may crash the machine during flashing. This
will be addressed once we manage to get docs for those embedded controllers.

flashrom has its own home page at http://www.flashrom.org/

You can see a list of downloads at http://www.flashrom.org/Downloads

New major user-visible features include:

    * 3Com NICs flashing
    * Silicon Image SATA controller flashing
    * ITE IT87* SuperI/O SPI flashing
    * FT2232H/FT4232H based SPI external programmer support
    * Universal external programmer protocol
    * AVR based external programmer support attached via serial line
    * Dummy flasher driver to trace execution
    * Automatic write/erase verification
    * Dozens of added flash chips
    * Support for new chipsets
    * Support for new boards
    * Fast bus type dependent probing
    * No root privileges needed for most external flashers

Infrastructural improvements and fixes:

    * External flasher infrastructure
    * Improved SPI abstraction
    * SPI multicommand infrastructure
    * Partial read support infrastructure
    * Accurate timing information for probing
    * Tarball export target
    * User interface cleanup
    * Block protection printing for more chips
    * Probing accuracy improvements for old SPI chips on ICH
    * MMIO abstraction layer
    * Chip access abstraction layer
    * More intelligent error handling for ICH/VIA SPI
    * Fix corner case SB600 SPI hangs on non-SPI boards
    * Downgrade to byte program for certain chip families because they
      don't support page program
    * Detection of no-ID responses from chips
    * Elan SC520 runtime detection
    * 100x speedup for writes to some SPI chips
    * Improved error messages
    * Correctness fixes
    * Various workarounds for broken hardware
    * Code cleanups

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