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AMD Provides Coreboot Support For Fusion

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  • #31
    indeed, "modern" proprietary BIOSes are not modern at all but steaming petrified piles of shitty code on crappy crutches. they should not be executed by CPU but just mercifully executed and forgotten. kudos to AMD and guys there once again for doing a right thing.

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    • #32
      AFAIK Coreboot still lacks some things provided by the bioses, like over/underclocking, or a menu system in general for settings.

      Thus I wouldn't use it for a desktop, but someone sell me a coreboot-preinstalled laptop/netbook that boots fast'n'furious

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      • #33
        I could go with no overclocking, but i wanna be able to undervolt the cpu. Is it supported by coreboot?

        My mobo (GA-MA785GMT-UD2H) has double bios and is supported, so i'm gonna try coreboot if i can manage voltage manually.

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        • #34
          Are AMD and ATI still different companies? Judged from their behaviour in CPU and GPU - they are.

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          • #35
            Coreboot can do everything that SplashTop can but in a nonproprietary way. Would be cool to have a builtin music and dvd player that's instant-on without even booting into a full Windows or Linux desktop. Not to mention even accessing the Web to get help if machine fails or even to send a quick IM.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by DeepDayze View Post
              Coreboot can do everything that SplashTop can but in a nonproprietary way. Would be cool to have a builtin music and dvd player that's instant-on without even booting into a full Windows or Linux desktop. Not to mention even accessing the Web to get help if machine fails or even to send a quick IM.
              To really get something comparable to Splashtop, you'd need extra storage on the board, as deanjo said. I think a lightweight web browser could fit on some boards without an extra chip, though. Just as a data point I built a static links binary with graphics support, and xz gets it down to 2.8MB. Here's what a basic coreboot+SeaBIOS build for the G-Series dev board produces:

              Code:
              Total size: 97084  Fixed: 55380  Free: 33988 (used 74.1% of 128KiB rom)
                  CBFS       coreboot.rom
                  PAYLOAD    SeaBIOS (internal, compression: LZMA)
                  CBFSPRINT  coreboot.rom
              
              coreboot.rom: 4096 kB, bootblocksize 786, romsize 4194304, offset 0x0
              Alignment: 64 bytes
              
              Name                           Offset     Type         Size
              cmos_layout.bin                0x0        unknown      1775
              fallback/romstage              0x740      stage        297048
              fallback/coreboot_ram          0x49000    stage        170692
              fallback/payload               0x72b00    payload      50117
              (empty)                        0x7ef00    null         3673510
              This assumes a 32Mbit flash, which is on the large side but not unrealistic at all; boards ship with chips this size. It might even be the norm soon with the UEFI stuff catching on. You're not likely to fit anything close to a full-blown desktop in there, but I think there's room for a serious attempt at a lightweight environment (cf. that QNX demo floppy from about 10 years ago).

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              • #37
                Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
                AMD deserves *major* kudos for this.
                Seconded.

                Finally some love for open source regarding bios.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by allquixotic View Post
                  What about the variant of Fusion that would go into low to mid-range desktops and laptops? Are those (going to be) supported with Coreboot as well?

                  Ideally, for my next system build, I'd like to leave Intel behind entirely and go with the Phenom II X6 1100T, along with my current HD5970 (hanging on to it until at least HD7000 series is out for a few months). Open source graphics drivers + coreboot bios would basically give me a top to bottom free software stack....... oh, unless you count the kernel firmware for the radeon GPUs. Darn.

                  I think I'll look for a Fusion laptop, too, ideally with just a little more punch than an Intel GMA, without being as large and power hungry as a GeForce Go.

                  Here's to hoping they'll both have Coreboot support by the time I'm ready to buy.
                  Fusion C line "Ontario" 5-9w 1Ghz single or dual core w/ HD6250 for tablets, embeded or netbooks.
                  Fusion E line "Zacate" 18w 1.6Ghz single or dual core w/ HD6310 for netbooks, nettops, HTPCs and subnotebooks.
                  Upcoming Fusion "Llano" 40w speed unknown, dual or quad core w/ HD6620 stated for notebook use.

                  C series beats the Atom w/ GMA*, E series beats a C2D CULV w/ Nvidia Ion, Llano is stated to be slower then the latest Core i mobile CPUs but stomps the Intel GPU with the HD6620 performing somewhere between the desktop HD5550 and HD5670 depending on the game. Apparently all already have XvBA and OSS driver support. It may or may not be the greatest at any given task, but these chips are doing extremely well given their TDP.

                  So yes, I'd love to see System76 or Zareason quad Llano based HTPC sporting coreboot and built in http://pchdtv.com/ tv tuners.

                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdPi4GPEI74

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by crazycheese View Post
                    Are AMD and ATI still different companies? Judged from their behaviour in CPU and GPU - they are.
                    No.
                    In fact, the "ATI" brand has been dropped altogether. Its AMD RADEON.
                    http://news.softpedia.com/news/AMD-R...d-154168.shtml

                    And look here:
                    http://www.amd.com/us/products/deskt...-graphics.aspx
                    You will note that the "ATI" brand was used up to and including Radeon 5000, but no further.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by drag View Post
                      Coreboot can do everything a BIOS does if it is properly setup... but it does it very very quick. Probably quicker then it takes for your LCD display to boot up. Essentially by the time the display activates you should already be half-way done booting your system up.
                      Wouldn't we still need to wait for the HDDs to spin up? According to its SMART data, that's 10 seconds for my 2 TB HDD. I mean, Linux *could* boot up without the HDD, and just mount it when it's available, and do fsck on it then if needed, but it'd require a change in the Linux code too.

                      That's the most time-consuming part of the boot up of my computer, waiting for the HDDs to spin up. Restarts are pretty fast, when the HDDs are already spinning.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by runeks View Post
                        Wouldn't we still need to wait for the HDDs to spin up? According to its SMART data, that's 10 seconds for my 2 TB HDD. I mean, Linux *could* boot up without the HDD, and just mount it when it's available, and do fsck on it then if needed, but it'd require a change in the Linux code too.
                        Well, not really delay the spinup as all harddrives spins up when you add power to them, but spin down again after some seconds if nothing is connected to the data-port (i.e. missing SATA/PATA-cable).
                        However most BIOS initiates the harddrives for lots of reasons (check if it is bootable, initiate SMART, present sizes for legacy OSs) and this takes time, mostly as most BIOSes is single threaded and does this one bus at a time, often also in a hardcoded order, not in the order of which the devices are ready/spun up.

                        Originally posted by runeks View Post
                        That's the most time-consuming part of the boot up of my computer, waiting for the HDDs to spin up. Restarts are pretty fast, when the HDDs are already spinning.
                        Restarts are not countable, as there are oftens very many tests the BIOS skips on a restart. Get yourself a verbose BIOS and you will see that nearly every BIOS on a warm-reset does very limited hardware-scanning (because some values like memory cannot on these machines be hot-swapped and get their size/clocks changed). For example with a ASUS Rampage II Extreme my BIOS is really slow on cold boot in the steps before initiating USB, and after that start scanning harddrives. However if it is a warm reboot the time before initiating USB is almost halved.
                        And this is not waiting for spin up, as if I have disks that does not spin during reboot (because power-saving OSs has turned them off) then they are spun up first when the BIOS tries to initiate them (which comes after USB-init).

                        In some BIOSes (most often OEMs, or laptops) you may see that the BIOS can start REALLY fast, but if it detects a change in the hardware, then the first boot can be much slower. This is because these BIOSes saves most of those values, and during boot does a very limited initiation, only enough to detect hardware-changes. If no changes detected, then it skips on to booting.
                        I have in another of my desktops one of those BIOSes, and it is REALLY fast if this is enabled in BIOS, unless I use AHCI/RAID since those are running off external BIOS-code and are not saved in nvram. In that case everything but disk-initiation is so fast my LCD does not have time to power up before the AHCI-bios.

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