Intel Publishes Open-Source PSE Firmware

Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 22 April 2022 at 09:10 AM EDT. 12 Comments
Last year open-source developers called on Intel to open-source their "PSE" firmware. The Programmable Services Engine (PSE) introduced with Elkhart Lake is an Arm Cortex-M7 companion core responsible for various tasks and is programmed by a binary-only firmware module. While it started out as a proprietary, binary blob, the PSE firmware has now been open-sourced!

I was informed this week that the Intel Programmable Services Engine (PSE) firmware is now treated as open-source. The Programmable Services Engine with Elkhart Lake can be used for embedded controller (EC) functionality, sensor handling, network proxy, remote management, and other tasks offloaded to this Arm core.

The PSE firmware had been closed-source as a frustration to Coreboot developers and other folks concerned about having an open platform as much as possible at the lower-levels for the sake of not only open-source system firmware but also security concerns.

Intel's Elkhart Lake diagram with the new PSE block.

The Intel PSE firmware is being made open-source via GitHub. The Elkhart Lake PSE is open-source under an Apache 2.0 license and is accompanied as well by sample applications and pre-built binaries.

The Intel PSE firmware is now open-source!

In addition to the PSE firmware being open-source under an Apache 2.0 license, the generated firmware binaries are also marked as being explicitly redistributable in binary form so long as they retain the Intel copyright and other usual notices.

Within the PSE firmware source tree is the Zephyr RTOS code used by the PSE, the ECLite firmware, various sample app code, and more. It will be interesting to see with the PSE FW being open-source if it leads to any interesting new use-cases for the Programmable Services Engine.

Great job to Intel in listening to the developer community and getting the PSE firmware open-source! Now if only they would open-source more of the FSP...
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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