[OpenBIOS] Intel holding back information

Ron Tsur ron at lynx.coredump.com
Thu Aug 5 22:22:27 CEST 1999

Niklas Ekström wrote:
> I have been in contact with Intel about obtaining the BIOS specifications
> for various chipsets (in particular the 430FX which is the chipset of my
> testing environment), but they seem very reluctant to give them away. I
> guess it might depend on that a) you normally have to sign a
> Non-Disclosure Agreement to obtain them (which doesn't go well with the
> fact that I will make the source for the BIOS publicly available) and
> possibly b) that I'm a private person and not a well recogized BIOS
> manufacturing company.
> Does anyone have a good suggestion as how to solve this issue? I think
> this is quite a major issue. Even though I think I have a clue on how to
> do most things (detecting memory size and type (FPM/EDO)), I also believe
> there are some things that you would actually need the BIOS specification
> for (atleast so I don't have to _guess_ how to do some things).
> I believe some of you here (professional BIOS programmers) have read these
> specifications. Can you give any hint to how much information these
> specifications contain and how vital that information is? Also, is it
> possible to obtain that information for any other source?
> / Niklas

I provide consulting services to Intel, many times concerning chipsets.  I am
bound by non-disclosure agreement so I could not provide you with any
information that you cannot receive by other means.  However, Intel does not
want to hide information regarding released chipsets, only to protect
pre-release products.  I believe that the best avenue for you is to request a
developer CD-ROM subscription, which is free of charge, if you qualify and
includes regular quarterly updates.  refer to Developers' Insight CD-ROM at 


The last issue I received was May 1999.  The August issue is due any day now. 
The information is usually delivered on several (last one was three) CD-ROMs. 
You should be able to find the register-level description of all released
chipsets.  If you cannot find a particular chipset, please let me know and I'll
try to figure out if the information is not available for a good reason.

Good luck,

   ||   Ron Tsur  -  Consultant              ron at lynx.coredump.com
   ||                     Logical Ventures, Inc.
   ||   45171 NW Hartwick Road               TEL   1-503-324-8960
   ||   Banks, OR 97106, U.S.A.              FAX   1-503-324-4432
To unsubscribe: send mail to majordomo at freiburg.linux.de
with 'unsubscribe openbios' in the body of the message

More information about the openbios mailing list