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AMD Provides Coreboot Support For Fusion

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  • phoronix
    started a topic AMD Provides Coreboot Support For Fusion

    AMD Provides Coreboot Support For Fusion

    Phoronix: AMD Provides Coreboot Support For Fusion

    AMD has been quite friendly towards the Coreboot project (what used to be LinuxBIOS) with releasing support for new chipsets and other engineering assistance. This support has not dried up at all but has only expanded with AMD's recent release of Coreboot code to support the Embedded G-Series Fusion processor...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=OTE2Nw

  • Xake
    replied
    Originally posted by runeks View Post
    Wouldn't we still need to wait for the HDDs to spin up? According to its SMART data, that's 10 seconds for my 2 TB HDD. I mean, Linux *could* boot up without the HDD, and just mount it when it's available, and do fsck on it then if needed, but it'd require a change in the Linux code too.
    Well, not really delay the spinup as all harddrives spins up when you add power to them, but spin down again after some seconds if nothing is connected to the data-port (i.e. missing SATA/PATA-cable).
    However most BIOS initiates the harddrives for lots of reasons (check if it is bootable, initiate SMART, present sizes for legacy OSs) and this takes time, mostly as most BIOSes is single threaded and does this one bus at a time, often also in a hardcoded order, not in the order of which the devices are ready/spun up.

    Originally posted by runeks View Post
    That's the most time-consuming part of the boot up of my computer, waiting for the HDDs to spin up. Restarts are pretty fast, when the HDDs are already spinning.
    Restarts are not countable, as there are oftens very many tests the BIOS skips on a restart. Get yourself a verbose BIOS and you will see that nearly every BIOS on a warm-reset does very limited hardware-scanning (because some values like memory cannot on these machines be hot-swapped and get their size/clocks changed). For example with a ASUS Rampage II Extreme my BIOS is really slow on cold boot in the steps before initiating USB, and after that start scanning harddrives. However if it is a warm reboot the time before initiating USB is almost halved.
    And this is not waiting for spin up, as if I have disks that does not spin during reboot (because power-saving OSs has turned them off) then they are spun up first when the BIOS tries to initiate them (which comes after USB-init).

    In some BIOSes (most often OEMs, or laptops) you may see that the BIOS can start REALLY fast, but if it detects a change in the hardware, then the first boot can be much slower. This is because these BIOSes saves most of those values, and during boot does a very limited initiation, only enough to detect hardware-changes. If no changes detected, then it skips on to booting.
    I have in another of my desktops one of those BIOSes, and it is REALLY fast if this is enabled in BIOS, unless I use AHCI/RAID since those are running off external BIOS-code and are not saved in nvram. In that case everything but disk-initiation is so fast my LCD does not have time to power up before the AHCI-bios.

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  • runeks
    replied
    Originally posted by drag View Post
    Coreboot can do everything a BIOS does if it is properly setup... but it does it very very quick. Probably quicker then it takes for your LCD display to boot up. Essentially by the time the display activates you should already be half-way done booting your system up.
    Wouldn't we still need to wait for the HDDs to spin up? According to its SMART data, that's 10 seconds for my 2 TB HDD. I mean, Linux *could* boot up without the HDD, and just mount it when it's available, and do fsck on it then if needed, but it'd require a change in the Linux code too.

    That's the most time-consuming part of the boot up of my computer, waiting for the HDDs to spin up. Restarts are pretty fast, when the HDDs are already spinning.

    Leave a comment:


  • droidhacker
    replied
    Originally posted by crazycheese View Post
    Are AMD and ATI still different companies? Judged from their behaviour in CPU and GPU - they are.
    No.
    In fact, the "ATI" brand has been dropped altogether. Its AMD RADEON.
    http://news.softpedia.com/news/AMD-R...d-154168.shtml

    And look here:
    http://www.amd.com/us/products/deskt...-graphics.aspx
    You will note that the "ATI" brand was used up to and including Radeon 5000, but no further.

    Leave a comment:


  • Kivada
    replied
    Originally posted by allquixotic View Post
    What about the variant of Fusion that would go into low to mid-range desktops and laptops? Are those (going to be) supported with Coreboot as well?

    Ideally, for my next system build, I'd like to leave Intel behind entirely and go with the Phenom II X6 1100T, along with my current HD5970 (hanging on to it until at least HD7000 series is out for a few months). Open source graphics drivers + coreboot bios would basically give me a top to bottom free software stack....... oh, unless you count the kernel firmware for the radeon GPUs. Darn.

    I think I'll look for a Fusion laptop, too, ideally with just a little more punch than an Intel GMA, without being as large and power hungry as a GeForce Go.

    Here's to hoping they'll both have Coreboot support by the time I'm ready to buy.
    Fusion C line "Ontario" 5-9w 1Ghz single or dual core w/ HD6250 for tablets, embeded or netbooks.
    Fusion E line "Zacate" 18w 1.6Ghz single or dual core w/ HD6310 for netbooks, nettops, HTPCs and subnotebooks.
    Upcoming Fusion "Llano" 40w speed unknown, dual or quad core w/ HD6620 stated for notebook use.

    C series beats the Atom w/ GMA*, E series beats a C2D CULV w/ Nvidia Ion, Llano is stated to be slower then the latest Core i mobile CPUs but stomps the Intel GPU with the HD6620 performing somewhere between the desktop HD5550 and HD5670 depending on the game. Apparently all already have XvBA and OSS driver support. It may or may not be the greatest at any given task, but these chips are doing extremely well given their TDP.

    So yes, I'd love to see System76 or Zareason quad Llano based HTPC sporting coreboot and built in http://pchdtv.com/ tv tuners.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdPi4GPEI74

    Leave a comment:


  • plonoma
    replied
    Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
    AMD deserves *major* kudos for this.
    Seconded.

    Finally some love for open source regarding bios.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ex-Cyber
    replied
    Originally posted by DeepDayze View Post
    Coreboot can do everything that SplashTop can but in a nonproprietary way. Would be cool to have a builtin music and dvd player that's instant-on without even booting into a full Windows or Linux desktop. Not to mention even accessing the Web to get help if machine fails or even to send a quick IM.
    To really get something comparable to Splashtop, you'd need extra storage on the board, as deanjo said. I think a lightweight web browser could fit on some boards without an extra chip, though. Just as a data point I built a static links binary with graphics support, and xz gets it down to 2.8MB. Here's what a basic coreboot+SeaBIOS build for the G-Series dev board produces:

    Code:
    Total size: 97084  Fixed: 55380  Free: 33988 (used 74.1% of 128KiB rom)
        CBFS       coreboot.rom
        PAYLOAD    SeaBIOS (internal, compression: LZMA)
        CBFSPRINT  coreboot.rom
    
    coreboot.rom: 4096 kB, bootblocksize 786, romsize 4194304, offset 0x0
    Alignment: 64 bytes
    
    Name                           Offset     Type         Size
    cmos_layout.bin                0x0        unknown      1775
    fallback/romstage              0x740      stage        297048
    fallback/coreboot_ram          0x49000    stage        170692
    fallback/payload               0x72b00    payload      50117
    (empty)                        0x7ef00    null         3673510
    This assumes a 32Mbit flash, which is on the large side but not unrealistic at all; boards ship with chips this size. It might even be the norm soon with the UEFI stuff catching on. You're not likely to fit anything close to a full-blown desktop in there, but I think there's room for a serious attempt at a lightweight environment (cf. that QNX demo floppy from about 10 years ago).

    Leave a comment:


  • DeepDayze
    replied
    Coreboot can do everything that SplashTop can but in a nonproprietary way. Would be cool to have a builtin music and dvd player that's instant-on without even booting into a full Windows or Linux desktop. Not to mention even accessing the Web to get help if machine fails or even to send a quick IM.

    Leave a comment:


  • crazycheese
    replied
    Are AMD and ATI still different companies? Judged from their behaviour in CPU and GPU - they are.

    Leave a comment:


  • Viper_Scull
    replied
    I could go with no overclocking, but i wanna be able to undervolt the cpu. Is it supported by coreboot?

    My mobo (GA-MA785GMT-UD2H) has double bios and is supported, so i'm gonna try coreboot if i can manage voltage manually.

    Leave a comment:

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