Google Lands Many More Coreboot Changes
Written by Michael Larabel in Coreboot on 24 December 2013 at 07:24 AM EST. 1 Comment
Coreboot
Google landed a large number of Coreboot changes over the weekend, particularly improving the Samsung Exynos 5420 Octa and Intel Lynxpoint / Haswell hardware support.

A great number of commits for Coreboot were publicly landed on Saturday by the Google engineers working on Coreboot as the open-source BIOS/UEFI for Chromebooks. Weekend Coreboot code drops from Google have become quite common and just last month I wrote about a number of hardware support improvements.

This past weekend, a number of the new Coreboot commits were about improving support for the Exynos 5420, the latest Samsung Exynos 5 Octa. Like the Exynos 5 Octa 5410, this is another ARM big.LITTLE design with four Cortex-A15 cores and four low-power/performance Cortex-A7 cores. The Exynos 5420 is much faster over the 5410 with clock speeds for the A15 in the range of 1.8 to 1.9GHz over 1.6GHz on the original Exynos 5 Octa. The Cortex-A7 cores also run 100MHz faster, at 1.3GHz. The Exynos 5420 also goes with ARM Mali T628 MP6 graphics over PowerVR SGX544 graphics on the original Exynos 5 Octa.

The Exynos 5420 was announced over the summer and there's a few mobile devices using this Samsung SoC so far like the Galaxy Note 3. With this recent activity, it looks like a Google partner should soon be unveiling a Chromebook design using the Exynos 5420 SoC. Going back months has been Coreboot support for a Google "Pit" device that is similar to the "Snow" device but with the newer SoC. One of the commits this weekend mentioned, "kirby is dead. long live the arm pit." Kirby was one of the other proposed Chromebook designs.

Besides the continued Coreboot ARM work, this weekend there were also a number of commits pertaining to Intel Lynx Point, the 8-Series chipset from Intel for the latest-generation Haswell (and forthcoming Broadwell) processors. Also landing was an update to the Haswell CPU microcode and other changes.

In total there were more than 100 Coreboot commits that were pushed this weekend so go check out the Git repository short-log if you're interested in more details on Google's contributions.
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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 Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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