[flashrom] GSoC-2014 Flashrom project "Locking and unlocking of access protections of flash chips"

Stefan Tauner stefan.tauner at student.tuwien.ac.at
Tue Mar 18 01:38:47 CET 2014

On Mon, 17 Mar 2014 09:56:43 +0800
严进一 <lexkde at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi, 
> I am Jinyi Yan , a second year PhD candidate from Shanghai Institute of Micro-system and Information Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. I used to be a mainboard BIOS engineer in ASUS Technology Suzhou Co., Ltd for about two years (2007.7~2009.2). My major now is optoelectronics. But I have a lot of fun while programming, in my heart the working experience of being a BIOS engineer is still very exciting. 
> I think GsoC is a nice platform for me to participate the open source community. When I search the GsoC projects and organizations, the coreboot and flashrom projects are definitely the right choices for me. I have a spare ASUS P5KPL PC at my hand, but the chipset is not in the support list of coreboot project. So I consider the flashrom project is the better choice. I also have a home-made flash programmer based on uspasp.
> I'd like to choose “Locking and unlocking of access protections of flash chips” for GSoC 2014. 
> Now I'm not very familiar with the program structure of flashrom, so I expect your guidence and hope to contribute for flashrom and coreboot even if my application is not accpeted.
> Thanks! Look forward to your kind advice!

Hello Jinyi,

thanks for your interest in flashrom. I have been the most active
flashrom developer in the last years and would probably be responsible
to integrate your work and answer questions if you get stuck. I agree
that the coreboot-related projects are probably the best choice for you
(there are not many low-level projects participating sadly... that's
how I ended up here too ;). I also have to admit that the P5KPL is
probably not very helpful AFAICT. But I don't think that this is a show
stopper regarding coreboot (or seabios) projects and that your skills
and insights obtained at ASUS regarding x86 might be more useful in a
non-flashrom project. Also, the project you chose requires to
understand two code bases ("ours" and that maintained by google/
chromiumos ppl) and interact with two communities and persuade at least
one of them that your solution is sound and profitable. On the other
hand, I am biased because I will apply for a flashrom GSoC project
myself probably. ;)
The code bases have a very similar core so that should not be a big
issue at all. Producing something that will be praised by everyone on
the other hand is really hard. The vanilla flashrom community is
traditionally very (very) picky regarding changes, especially user
interface changes. This is also the reason why there is a chromiumos
fork of flashrom...

I have talked to David (dhendrix) and he is willing to mentor you this
year. If you want to pursue this project (and the patch you sent seems
to indicate that ;) I suggest you talk to him directly about details
of the assignment (here or on IRC).

Adding new flash chips as you have done is a very good first step to
get to know flashrom a bit better. The fun begins with the awkward
models though :)
I suggest you test flashrom on any hardware available to you (including
network cards for example)... there is always room for improvement and
learning a foreign code base is always easier when on has a specific
goal to reach.
Kind regards/Mit freundlichen Grüßen, Stefan Tauner

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