26C3 - 26C3 1.15

26th Chaos Communication Congress
Here be dragons

Peter Stuge
Day Day 1 - 2009-12-27
Room Saal2
Start time 23:00
Duration 01:00
ID 3661
Event type Lecture
Track Hacking
Language used for presentation English

coreboot: Adding support for a system near you

Working with the open source BIOS replacement and getting a PC to boot

The BIOS and it's successor EFI are considered by many to be the final frontier for open source software in commodity PCs. This talk briefly describes the BIOS replacement coreboot (formerly LinuxBIOS) and then focuses on what is required to bring up a PC from power on to where an operating system can run, and how coreboot approaches the problem.

A modern PC is quite different from the 1981 original, and while the BIOS still remains it must now take on several fairly complex challenges. When the original PC with it's pre-ISA expansion bus was powered on, most if not all parts of the system were immediately capable of running applications. The PC of today can have several multicore CPUs which are interconnected by HyperTransport, Front Side Bus or QuickPath, DDR3 RAM on each CPU core, and PCI Express - making the situation very different since all these components require complex initialization to be implemented in software.

coreboot celebrates it's 10th year in 2009 and many lessons have been learned about contemporary PC hardware. After a brief description of coreboot, a typical PC mainboard is broken down logically, with attention paid to the significant hardware components and how they interact, finally moving on to how support for this mainboard has been implemented in coreboot.

The presentation aims to give a good look into the development process for coreboot, as well as the requirements for adding support for new systems in coreboot.

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