Raptor Engineering Hopes To Bring OpenBMC To An ASUS Motherboard
Written by Michael Larabel in Coreboot on 12 February 2017 at 07:18 AM EST. 13 Comments
While Raptor Engineering was unsuccessful with their Talos Secure Workstation effort to build a high-end, libre POWER8 workstation, they are now backing a more realistic effort: opening the Baseboard Management Controller of an ASUS server motherboard still on the market.

They are hoping to replace the proprietary baseboard management controller firmware with an open-source solution using OpenBMC. They are hoping to do this not only for the sake of having a fully-free server/workstation motherboard but also for addressing security holes in the proprietary firmware and add missing features while also allowing Coreboot to interact with this BMC.

Raptor Engineering estimates it will cost around $50,000 USD to bring Facebook's OpenBMC stack to this particular ASUS KGPE-D16 motherboard, of which they themselves are sponsoring $30k of the cost and have already around $10k sponsored by the community and they continue crowdfunding for the rest.

For those wishing to learn more about their latest focus on tackling the BMC of this ASUS motherboard can visit this Raptor Engineering page. Those wanting to learn about Facebook's OpenBMC project can visit their GitHub site.

The KGPE-D16 motherboard is still available for retail channels for around $400~420 new or under $300 used. This SSI EEB server motherboard that supports Coreboot currently but without the BMC support is capable of supporting two Opteron 6300/6200/6100 series CPUs, up to sixteen DDR3 DIMMs, PCI Express, etc. Those curious about this board can still find it listed at Amazon.com.
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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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