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AMD Is Hiring For Coreboot Development, Sponsoring Open-Source Firmware Conference

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  • AMD Is Hiring For Coreboot Development, Sponsoring Open-Source Firmware Conference

    Phoronix: AMD Is Hiring For Coreboot Development, Sponsoring Open-Source Firmware Conference

    Back on the AMD EPYC 7002 "Rome" launch day I wrote about how AMD is working to return to open-source BIOS / Coreboot support and now there's further confirmation of their work in that direction...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...g-For-Coreboot

  • #2
    As soon as Intel announced their initiative in this area, I was wondering how AMD would respond as they were championing the "open" effort earlier but fell short in supporting these UEFI replacement initiatives. But it seems they do step into the right direction...

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    • #3
      Great news. Thanks.

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      • #4
        Sounds too good to be true. I hope this is real and not just some PR stunt. But for now I am just gonna say: thumbs up AMD, way to go.

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        • #5
          Even just releasing AGESA blobs with some kind of documentation would be great

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          • #6
            This still doesn't (and won't) address the literal root of the problem on AMD systems: the PSP.

            Just look at these options being seriously discussed on the coreboot mailing list (d. and e. will never happen according to AMD public statements elsewhere). Any of the remaining options are enough for me to say "indemnify me for all losses traceable in any way to your signed firmware, should they happen, or I won't use your chip":

            https://mail.coreboot.org/hyperkitty...ICVDFMPALJMEU/

            This is just PR window dressing to try to keep privacy conscious users from fleeing their platform. Hopefully, those same users will be able to see through the charade. With all the open core, open ISA, and just plain ME/PSP free systems available nowadays, why would anyone accept this bad of a deal just for a bit of (temporary) performance gain?
            Last edited by madscientist159; 08-30-2019, 05:02 PM.

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            • #7
              Now that is something to look forward to. They have been far more Coreboot-friendly in the past than any other x86 vendor, so let's hope this will work out well. And not only in server space. I guess this might be a step by step thing, but hey, better take small steps than none at all.
              And after all this was one of the most upvoted questions in the Reddit-AMA with Dr. Lisa Su and they wrote that this issue is now know on CEO level. And as far as I see it she's a tech girl with a brain, so I guess she's not basically opposed to FOSS solutions.
              And sponsoring the conference, hey, it's a sign.

              And one reason why I buy their CPUs and later GPUs, chipsets etc. since... uh, pre 2000.

              I wonder if they'll be able to make their entirely own PSP in the future (since they do have some ARM license) and do not need this TEE (or whatever it was called) stuff any longer. That would probably enable them to publish specs so it can be used for the user and still offer optional blob stuff for people who want crappy Netflix "premium" content or other things that require you to have severe hardware (assisted) digital restriction management.
              Or if they just produce some of these boxes without a PSP at all. I wonder if this little one really is required for something like power management, putting unused x86 cores to sleep or do anything during bootstrap or if it is technically optional. After all there are some mainboards with a "disable PSP" option in their FW setup.
              Stop TCPA, stupid software patents and corrupt politicians!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by madscientist159 View Post
                This still doesn't (and won't) address the literal root of the problem on AMD systems: the PSP.
                That becomes a secondary issue if they release enough info to make a decent board firmware.
                If you can run a decent board firmware you can block the mailbox registers (the communication that happens between the OS and the PSP) and the PSP becomes just another random microcontroller isolated from the rest of the world.

                Just look at these options being seriously discussed on the coreboot mailing list
                "seriously", meh.

                This is just PR window dressing to try to keep privacy conscious users from fleeing their platform. Hopefully, those same users will be able to see through the charade. With all the open core, open ISA, and just plain ME/PSP free systems available nowadays, why would anyone accept this bad of a deal just for a bit of (temporary) performance gain?
                There are also less-rich people and those that need to be able to run Windows.

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                • #9
                  Very good. Open sourcing AGESA would be a major improvement. Also, open firmware for GPUs (without HDCP) would be good.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Adarion View Post
                    And after all this was one of the most upvoted questions in the Reddit-AMA with Dr. Lisa Su and they wrote that this issue is now know on CEO level. And as far as I see it she's a tech girl with a brain, so I guess she's not basically opposed to FOSS solutions.
                    I got an impression, general AMD openness towards FOSS is actually due to Lisa Su.

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