The Latest Open-Source AMD Firmware / Coreboot Happenings In Early 2021
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 7 February 2021 at 09:30 AM EST. 26 Comments
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While AMD has been crushing it when it comes to Linux performance and generally delivering good launch-day support, the one area many Linux/open-source advocates have been eager and hopeful to see change is around Coreboot support and ideally open-source firmware support such as by re-opening AGESA. Both inside and outside of AMD there continues being work in this direction.

Piotr Król and Michał Żygowski of consulting firm 3MDEB presented at this weekend's FOSDEM Online 2021 about the latest happenings as of so far this year on the open-source AMD firmware front.

Most of the outside visible work by AMD around any open-source firmware / Coreboot support has been on the Chromebook front, thanks to seeing AMD powered Chromebooks and Google mandating the use of Coreboot. Thus as noted before there has been AMD Picasso work for Coreboot while still sticking to the binary AGESA and not much in the way of motherboard coverage outside of Chromebook devices.

Besides the Picasso work, there is support for AMD Cezanne and Majolica support under review for supporting the AMD Ryzen 5000 series mobile with Coreboot. Again, seemingly for upcoming Chromebook devices.

One remark made during the presentation was that, "despite there are no @amd.com patches going upstream, team contributing to Coreboot is officially hired by AMD" and "congratulations to our OSF friends who joined AMD, we already seethings moving faster."

Also exciting from 3MDEB, "There is a chance that AMD servers will also get [open-source firmware] support." As for that there is Project X as open-source Coreboot/Oreboot for AMD Zen. Prominent Coreboot developer Ron Minnich of Google has been working on that fully open-source Rust-based Oreboot support initially for AMD EPYC with the Rome reference board. But the hope is to ultimately support at least a more affordable developer board and see what happens but for now is a minimal implementation. Minnich's OSFC presentation from last year is embedded below for more details.


Another area where AMD is making progress on open-source firmware albeit in the server space is on supporting OpenBMC.

Those wanting to learn more about 3MDEB's thoughts and expertise on the open-source AMD firmware happenings can see this slide deck (PDF) from FOSDEM 2021. Long story short, there is work happening albeit primarily in the server and Chromebook space at this point but we hold out for more surprises down the road.
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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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