Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Coreboot: Replacing Intel's Binary Video BIOS Blob

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    15,639

    Default Coreboot: Replacing Intel's Binary Video BIOS Blob

    Phoronix: Coreboot: Replacing Intel's Binary Video BIOS Blob

    While Intel's the only major graphics hardware vendor to provide a fully open-source and officially-supported Linux graphics driver stack that's accompanied by extensive programming and register documentation, there is still a binary blob -- similar to AMD and their Radeon firmware blobs within the kernel -- when it comes to their video BIOS on the latest Intel hardware...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTE1NDc

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    1

    Default

    I wasn't aware that Intel uses a binary blob for their video BIOS. Why is that? Given that their driver is open source couldn't they just release the source for the BIOS as well?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    418

    Default

    Intel still has a lot of closed binary blobs.

    The Video Bios is one, the regular PC bios is a nother and don't forget CPU microcode

    In any case, remember, coreboot tries to replace the traditional bios. Now traditionally this had nothing to do with the videobios, except for Onboard graphics, where the Video bios is integrated into the regular bios. E.g. the bios loads the video bios too.

    With Sandy/Ivy bridge being all IGP CPU's, coreboot of course needs to either include the binary blobs (they do this now) or replace it with open source. And that is what Ron is working on.

    For now however, your still better off with modern AMD stuff, as AMD activily supports coreboot. Having said that, I'm not sure whether AMD supports the Video Bios, though I doubt it. Intel CPU's at the moment also need some ram-initialization 'blobs' from what I remember and don't support coreboot at all.

    Also microcode will remain a binary blob aswell. But I think in the OpenSource chain of importants of things to free, that would be very well at the end.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Nurnberg.
    Posts
    342

    Default

    WTF?

    Radeon depends on AtomBIOS for every tiny and trivial modesetting thing it does. Anyone who backed Radeon and boo-ed RadeonHD pretty much bashed RadeonHD for _NOT_ depending fully on AtomBIOS. RadeonHD had mostly C-code for basic and standard and easy modesetting stuff.

    How the F does this compare to the intel situation, where intel actually does still produce documentation and only a tiny amount of chip bringup depends on the BIOS?

    Really, corebooters, and others, where were you guys when we were trying to keep ATI mostly free?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by libv View Post
    where intel actually does still produce documentation and only a tiny amount of chip bringup depends on the BIOS?
    Slow down just a minute, and look at the bigger picture. Intel is the _least_ free platform out there. The system RAM does not work on pwer on, and there are tens of thousand of lines of code needed to get it up. All intel gives you (on IvyBridge) for that is a big blob, and the only thing coreboot can do about it is tell you the return value. Not to say that you also need to update the CPU microcode before you can even hope if running this code. I won't bore you with the details, just keep in mind that all other platforms can run without needing a mcrocode update, and have full source for raminit. Two blobs before we can even start talking about the GPU.

    Quote Originally Posted by libv View Post
    Really, corebooters, and others, where were you guys when we were trying to keep ATI mostly free?
    Video option ROMs is not what we do. Sure, when there's an integrated GPU, we do our best to get it working without a video bios. If you want a free video bios for your plug-in Radeon 7970, your fish are in a different pond.

    Next time you want to start a flame war, please get your facts straight before launching outright wrong information.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,675

    Default

    Maybe not optimal but i really dislike my asus firmware. I have got nothing against uefi, but it has to work the way it is intended. Are there instructions how to boot an asus z68 board with coreboot (and tianocore payload)? Intel dev boards or chromebooks are hard to get...

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •