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How Can AMD EPYC "Rome" 7002 Series Be Even Better? Open-Source BIOS / Coreboot

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  • #11
    but that they needed to obtain the rights to be able to publish some of the code.
    Is it because they are using something from ARM in their chips? ARM are really nasty when it comes to open sourcing anything.

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    • #12
      Originally posted by andyprough View Post
      I'll believe it when I see it.

      Sounds like political-speak. "We're working on it". How many hundreds of times have we heard this from manufacturers over the years when asking them about open sourcing their binaries?
      On the other hand, it's AMD we're atlking about. They have consistently open-sourced (or are in the process of finishing to opensource) every single last thing they've promised.

      Given their track record, they WILL DEFINITELY opensource it.

      ...one day.

      The main question isn't *if* they do.
      But *when* they do.

      They have always kept their promises and open-sourced everything, but sometime it has taken them age until they manage.


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      • #13
        Open Source is security win and it's not matter of believing.

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        • #14
          Originally posted by wizard69 View Post
          This is good news! Success at AMD should allow them to start hiring more software engineers to get past this drought of software.
          Well, "they aren't bundling any arbitrary binary blobs for their processors/chipsets, but that they needed to obtain the rights to be able to publish some of the code" sounds more like legal issues are the problem, not so much the development resources needed to do so.

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          • #15
            As I've said before, there's no fundamental issues, it was more of a cost/benefit review. It's a huge amount of work to do the coreboot enablement and back when we did it consistently, we didn't get much return on investment.

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            • #16
              Let's hope this comes true.
              We all have been disappointed in the past by things we had hoped for but not came true. And yes, there is corporate mess, there is releasing things way too late and more, but still, the rather detailed answer (even incl. the expected "there is 3rd party stuff in it and we have to fiddle with that somehow") and the past where they did have good support (also via Sage Engineering) makes me hope for the better.
              I mean, after all, there are also big players (G, FB, Governments (and not just China)) interested in this kind of stuff, plus of course the aware crowd of users/devs.
              Stop TCPA, stupid software patents and corrupt politicians!

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              • #17
                I hope AMD pushes forward with this, and that it will trickle down to consumer hardware as well. Being able to get rid of PSP would be another major win as well, at that point hardware could be capable of running 100% libre.

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                • #18
                  It would be great to this kind of things for AMD.
                  It's feels like it's been kind of neglected since Jeff Thomas of Sage Electronics Engineering retired and they closed the company if i remember correctly.
                  Sage Electronics Engineering and it's talented employees did a lot of work on coreboot support for AMD hardware.
                  http://web.archive.org/web/201507300...-all-the-fish/
                  But to be honest i am not up to date with current AMD coreboot support.
                  Last edited by Nille_kungen; 08-08-2019, 05:18 PM.

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                  • #19
                    Several points of caution / red flags here...

                    1.) The PSP checks an AMD signature. The PSP is required to even release the x86 cores from reset. Even if AMD released PSP source tomorrow, you still wouldn't be able to modify it or remove any parts you didn't like.

                    2.) More and more platform init is being pulled into the PSP. It's already doing large chunks of the coreboot romstage per my current understanding. Open source ramstage isn't really going to fix the security loss versus just using one of the already fully open products on the market -- remember AMD doesn't financially or legally guarantee your data confidentiality, data integrity, or even system availability against bugs or malware in the PSP.

                    3.) AMD has made this type of statement before, presumably to stoke interest and help sell chips. They have then quietly backed away from it at a later date. Example:

                    March 2, 2017 AMD AMA: "efforts to have source code released having "CEO level attention""
                    July 19, 2017: No open source possible: https://hothardware.com/news/amd-con...processor-code

                    I wonder how many CPUs were sold in the interim to people that actually thought they might be getting PSP source or control of the PSP...

                    As has been the trend for nearly a decade, AMD has a great core that is rendered insecure by design. In the modern age of "data as the new oil", not to mention the recent push for strong encryption to be made illegal, "performance for security" may or may not be a tradeoff you or your company can make.
                    Last edited by madscientist159; 08-08-2019, 06:16 PM. Reason: Date typo

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                    • #20
                      Originally posted by Neuro-Chef View Post
                      Well, "they aren't bundling any arbitrary binary blobs for their processors/chipsets, but that they needed to obtain the rights to be able to publish some of the code" sounds more like legal issues are the problem, not so much the development resources needed to do so.
                      Well possibly, but we all know what happened to AMD in the recent past! Passing off the lack of staff as a legal issues sounds a lot better to many. Frankly it takes considerable staff just to review software form the legal standpoint so it could be the lack of lawyers too.

                      In any event I'm very optimistic with regards to AMD and the cash influx a successful Ryzen 2 launch could give them. This should lead to better GPU drivers across the board, more money put into low power tech and other things that have been holding them back. Plus I have to express confidence in the new management staff, tech companies really need somebody at the top that really understands technology.

                      I'm not a big fan of the professional manager, some can do wonders but man when they screw up companies fold and people lose good jobs. Often it is in fact the lack of technical insight that causes the bad decision making.

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