Facebook + Intel Get Open-Source FSP Booting On Xeon Scalable

Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 17 April 2020 at 12:11 AM EDT. 10 Comments
Facebook and Intel have been working on being able to enable Xeon Scalable Open Compute Project systems with an open-source FSP.

Since the end of 2018 I have been reporting on Intel working on open-sourcing their firmware support package (FSP) and while it has taken brutally long, it looks like they are making progress and have been collaborating with Facebook on the effort as part of their Open Compute Project.

Facebook / OCP announced this week that with their Linux firmware they have been able to boot up a server powered by an Intel Xeon Scalable processor as an experiment.

"Facebook and Intel have been collaborating to develop open source based firmware solutions using Xeon Scalable Processor (Xeon-SP) Firmware Support Package (FSP) for OCP platforms. The experimental project of such alternative approaches reached an important milestone in March 2020, with completion of Proof-Of-Concept. We successfully developed an alternative host firmware approach for Xeon-SP based OCP platform. This alternative host firmware approach aligns well with the Open Compute Project (OCP) OSF (Open System Firmware) direction," they announced on OpenCompute.org.

Facebook refers to this as the Open System Firmware (OSF) approach. OSF relies upon Coreboot as being as slim as possible, fully open-source (FSP included), and making use of shared Coreboot code across platforms.

They acknowledge this Facebook + Intel joint effort is a multi-year project and moving forward will be working on infrastructure integration, evaluating the performance, and finding any gaps in the OSF implementation.

They don't comment much outside the context of the Open Compute Project, but at least from what I have been told in the past, it was to be open-source FSP without caveats on OCP. So we'll see what comes about in the months ahead for a fully open and transparent boot process on Intel hardware.
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