Future Intel Systems To Reportedly Be Even Less Friendly For Open-Source Firmware

Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 26 February 2022 at 10:30 AM EST. 30 Comments
According to the Coreboot camp, future Intel systems with FSP 3.0 and Universal Scalable Firmware (USF) will be even less friendly for open-source system firmware.

Coreboot developer Philipp Deppenwiese "Zaolin" who is CEO of German-based security firm Immune and founder of 9elements Security and heavily involved in the open-source firmware scene shared some bad news this week. He tweeted:

With Intel's FSP 3.0 (the next-gen Firmware Support Package) and USF (Universcal Scalable Firmware) he says it's "basically going fully closed-source on the firmware side."

Intel's Universal Scalable Firmware architecture.

Intel published the draft USF spec last quarter with a reported focus on reduced firmware complexity, scalable across CPUs and XPUs, support for industry bootloaders and OS payloads, and improved frimware quality and security. But according to Coreboot developers, it's going to be less open-source friendly.

I've since heard elsewhere that with the new Intel firmware components, Intel hardware initialization will basically be left to a binary and Coreboot will be further restricted in what options and controls it has around the binary blob. Some of the developers involved have NDA/embargoed information that will reportedly be shared later on / made public once platforms using FSP 3.0 and USF are out there.
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