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Google Continues Working A Lot On Coreboot

Hardware

Published on 18 January 2013 12:02 PM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware
9 Comments

Last year I wrote about Google becoming more involved with the Coreboot project for an open-source BIOS replacement for many motherboards/laptops. Google has been very interested in Coreboot since for their Chrome OS on the OEM Chromebooks they can achieve "super fast boot times" while being stable, secure, and can be quite customized with the open-source project. Google continues to invest heavily into the upstream Coreboot project.

Last year Google even provided the Intel Sandy Bridge & Ivy Bridge support for Coreboot so that they could use the open-source BIOS/firmware replacement on new Intel PCs with their Linux-based operating system. Google's Chromium/Chrome engineers continue to push new Coreboot code into the upstream repository very frequently.

Some of the recent upstream Coreboot improvements by Google engineers in recent weeks include:

- Initial support for the Samsung Exynos 5250 CPU (the commit). This initial support for the Exynos5 SoC is what's found in the new Samsung Chromebook and is one of the first ARM SoCs on the market using the ARM Cortex-A15 rather than the Cortex-A9 and earlier. I have been incredibly pleased with the Cortex-A15 / Samsung Exynos 5 Dual in the Chromebook and happy to see support coming about in Coreboot.

- Besides the Exynos 5 specific work in Coreboot, Chromium engineers have also made other ARMv7 support improvements for the former "LinuxBIOS" project.

- More CPU features when using Coreboot within QEMU (the commit).

- Support for the Intel Celeron 1007U (the commit) came earlier this week. The Intel Celeron 1007U is a new mobile CPU as of this quarter and one of the first Celeron processors based upon the "Ivy Bridge' micro-architecture. The Celeron 1007U is a dual-core part with a 17 Watt TDP. With Google working on Intel Celeron "Ivy Bridge" support in Coreboot, it's probably a safe bet there will be a Chromebook soon appearing with this new IVB Celeron CPU.

- Support for the "Google Parrot Chromebook", a.k.a. the Acer C7 Chromebook (the commit). As of last month, Coreboot now works upstream on the Acer C7 Chromebook, thanks to work done by Google in conjunction with Sage Electronic Engineering. The Acer C7 is a $199 laptop that has an Intel Celeron 847 CPU, 2GB of DDR3 memory, 320GB SATA HDD, and 11.6-inch display.

- Plus there's been many other Google-sponsored commits, particularly by Stefan Reinauer and David Hendricks of the Chromium team.

More information on Coreboot advancements coming soon.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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