1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

Google Designs Its Own Chrome Embedded Controller

Google

Published on 22 February 2013 08:39 PM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Google
9 Comments

Google engineers working on Chrome hardware have designed their own Embedded Controller (EC) that appears like it will end up in actual PCs and is open-source down to the firmware.

Word of the "Chrome EC" embedded controller came via a Coreboot commit that came on Friday afternoon for supporting the new chip. Stefan Reinauer, one of the original Coreboot developers that is now employed by Google, wrote "Add support for Google ChromeEC - Google ChromeEC is an EC with completely open source firmware...This patch adds support for the ChromeEC on coreboot's side. Great thanks to the ChromeEC team for this amazing work. It's another important milestone towards a free and open firmware stack on modern hardware."

Cited from that commit is a Chromium Git repository that contains the source-code to the firmware for this Google Chrome EC. The embedded controller is responsible for different background tasks of the system like battery information, keyboard initialization, temperature sensors, controlling USB charging, and other tasks.

It's rather interesting that Google's Chrome team has taken to designing their own EC and now for this GoogleEC being supported by Coreboot along with Compal, Lenovo, Quanta, and SMSC. With the mainlining of ChromeEC support, presumably this embedded controller will end up appearing in a released Chromebook? Which one? Well, seeing as this announcement comes just one day after Google announced the Chromebook Pixel and they already started pushing Pixel Linux support, it wouldn't be a big surprise if this Google EC ends up in their first high-end notebook.

Google keeping the Chrome EC open down to the firmware is also much appreciated by open-source fans and seeing that the embedded controller becomes widely-supported by the free software operating systems. With their heavy backing of Coreboot, now an open-source EC, and various other initiatives, it will be interesting to see what other areas of low-level open-source hardware support they apply their pressure to next for Chrome products.

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 .
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. Scythe Mugen MAX
  2. Intel Core i7 5960X Haswell-E On Linux
  3. Intel 80GB 530 Series M.2 SSD On Linux
  4. With A New Motherboard, The Core i7 5960X Haswell-E Lights Up
Latest Linux Articles
  1. RadeonSI GLAMOR Benchmarks With X.Org Server 1.16
  2. RadeonSI Gallium3D vs. Catalyst At 4K UHD On Linux
  3. MSAA RadeonSI Gallium3D Performance Preview
  4. Intel Core i7 5960X CPU Core Scaling Under Linux
Latest Linux News
  1. SNA & UXA Intel Benchmarks With X.Org Server 1.16
  2. Graphics Driver Changes Coming In The Linux 3.18 Kernel
  3. Tropico 5 Being Released For Linux Gamers This Week
  4. Eclipse IDE Starts Firing Up On Wayland's Weston
  5. OpenSUSE Announcement On SUSE's Recent Merger
  6. Valve Begins Publicly Tracking AMD Catalyst Linux Issues
  7. Digia Qt Spinoff Is Called "The Qt Company"
  8. GNOME 3.14 Makes More Progress In Running Natively On Wayland
  9. Minix 3.3 Released With Cortex-A8 ARM Support, NetBSD Userland Compatibility
  10. More Intel DRM Changes Queued For Linux 3.18, Including Old i830M Fixes
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Stop grabbing my keyboard :(
  2. New Group Calls For Boycotting Systemd
  3. Best Radeon for a Power Mac G5?
  4. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  5. New stress testing utility for GPU's
  6. Hd 6850
  7. support for first generation UVD blocks (RV6xx, RS780, RS880 and RV790)
  8. Nvidia joins the ranks of Apple and Microsoft