Google's Chrome OS "Wilco" Driver Working Towards Mainline Linux
Written by Michael Larabel in Google on 12 February 2019 at 07:35 AM EST. 4 Comments
GOOGLE --
For years now Google has been designing their own embedded controller (EC) for use within Chromebooks / Chrome OS devices.

But after about five years of the "ChromeOS EC" (cros_ec), there is a new embedded controller they have been working on. Coming soon to the mainline Linux tree will be the kernel support for a new ChromeOS "Wilco" Embedded Controller.

Wilco is Google's new embedded controller wired up over an eSPI bus. The new driver doesn't yield much to get excited about, however, but great that Google continues working on their own ECs and they are backed by open-source firmware and first-rate Linux support given their Chrome OS usage.

After being under review on the mailing list in recent weeks, as of this morning the Wilco driver code was queued into the chrome-platform for-next branch. Besides the new EC driver itself there is also a Wilco real-time clock (RTC) driver added as well. With the timing close to 5.1 and there already being a separate chrome-platform-5.1 branch, this code will either squeeze into the upcoming Linux 5.1 cycle or be held off until Linux 5.2.

Over on the Coreboot side for the open-source firmware, there has already been many Wilco patches for bringing up this EC within the Coreboot code.

The EC is responsible for keyboard control, power sequencing, battery state, boot verification, thermal control, and related functionality. The only device so far referencing use of the Wilco EC is a "Sarien" reference board based around an Intel Whiskey Lake SoC.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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