Coreboot 4.13 arrives with support of 63 boards, new version of SMM and more

The launch of the new version of the project "CoreBoot 4.13", version in which 234 developers participated in the creation and who also prepared more than 4200 changes.

For those who are unfamiliar with CoreBoot, you should know that this is an open source alternative to the traditional Basic I / O System (BIOS) that was already on MS-DOS 80s PCs and replacing it with UEFI (Unified Extensible). CoreBoot is also a free proprietary firmware analog and is available for full verification and auditing. CoreBoot is used as the base firmware for hardware initialization and boot coordination.

Including graphics chip initialization, PCIe, SATA, USB, RS232. At the same time, the binary FSP 2.0 (Intel Firmware Support Package) components and the binary firmware for the Intel ME subsystem, which are required to initialize and launch the CPU and chipset, are integrated into CoreBoot.

Main new features of Coreboot 4.13

Of the main changes that stand out in this new version, one of them is the added support for 63 motherboards, 42 of which are used on devices with Chrome OS or Google servers.

Among the non-Google boards, the following are mentioned:

  • Acer G43T-AM3
  • Asus A88XM-E FM2 +
  • Supermicro X11SSH-F
  • DellOptiPlex 9010
  • HP EliteBook 2560p, HP EliteBook Folio 9480m, HP ProBook 6360b
  • Lenovo ThinkPad X230s
  • System76 lemp9
  • AMD Cereme
  • Biostar TH61-ITX
  • BostenTech GBYT4
  • Clevo L140CU / L141CU
  • Intel Alderlake-P RVP
  • Kontron COMe-bSL6
  • Open Compute Project DeltaLake
  • Prodrive Hermes
  • Purism Librem Mini, Purism Librem Mini v2
  • Siemens Chile

Another important change in this new version of Cerboot 4.13 is that was provided your own implementation of the base code for systems on a Bay Trail chip, equivalent to the codebase provided by Intel.

The custom referral code will reduces external components required for proper operation to a single MRC.bin file (memory reference code) required for loading.

Added initial support for Intel TXT (Trusted eXecution Technology), enough to run the tboot (Trusted Boot) module. Implementation tested on Asrock B85M Pro4 (Haswell) TPM 2.0 motherboard.

Besides that also added "hidden" indicator processing for PCI devices in the device tree, allowing to process hidden devices, whose parameters appear to be missing from the device (vendor ID 0xFFFF_FFFF). Similar devices are used in Intel PMC (Power Management Controller).

Tools were added gen_spd.go and gen_part_id.go to generate SPD information (Serial Presence Detect) for LP4x memory and assign identifiers for memory modules used in TGL and JSL based boards.

Support for Open Compute Project SonoraPass motherboard and 4 Google boards has been removed.

A new version of the SMM bootloader has been proposed, which can work on platforms with more than 32 CPU threads.

An Address Sanitizer debugging mechanism was implemented Built-in to verify correctness of work with memory, allowing you to identify problems such as buffer overflows. The engine can be used in ramstage and romstage for QEMU i440fx, Intel Apollo Lake and Haswell.

Of the other changes that stand out:

  • Initial support for x86_64 was added, allowing more than 4GB of memory and including more optimized code. The implementation is still limited to use in the emulator.
  • Preparations have been made to selectively enable PCI bus mastering, for which Kconfig added settings that make it possible to enable bus mastering at the level of individual device groups.
  • The ability to change the output level of the logs to the console is provided from romstage, activated in the boot block.
  • The fourth edition of the resource allocator has been proposed, which adds support for manipulating multiple ranges of resources, using the entire address space and allocating memory in areas above 4 GB.
  • In addition, we can observe the work to provide support in CoreBoot for chipsets based on the AMD Zen microarchitecture.

Get CoreBoot

Finally, for those interested in being able to obtain this new version of CoreBoot they can do it from their download section, which can be found on the official website of the project.

In addition to that in it they will be able to find documentation and more information about the project.

The link is this.

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