Difference between revisions of "Intel Management Engine"

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(Why there is no replacement for it yet)
(See also)
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== See also ==
 
== See also ==
 
* http://me.bios.io/ME:About
 
* http://me.bios.io/ME:About
 +
* http://me.bios.io/ME

Revision as of 18:39, 13 August 2014

Uses of the Management Engine

The management engine(Often abreviated ME) is a CPU which permits Out of band management of the computer. See the Wikipedia AMT article for example use cases.

Freedom and security issues

  • The code that is running inside the management engine is proprietary and signed
  • The management engine CPU has access to a lot of things, see "ME physical capabilities" for more details.

Where

Board Firmware Microarchitecture ME location and physical capabilities ME restrictions
Lenovo x201 AMT Nehalem

The ME is inside the PCH, it:

  • Has access to the computer's memory/RAM
  • Controls the computer's original networking adapters
  • Signed firmware
  • If ME firmware is absent, the computer freezes about 30min after boot.
Packard Bell EasyNote LM85 (MS2290) AMT?
Samsung Series 5 550 Chromebook me.bin Sandy Bridge

The ME is inside the PCH, it:

  • Has access to the computer's memory/RAM
  • Controls the computer's original networking adapters
  • Signed firmware
Samsung Series 3 Chromebox me.bin
Lenovo t520 AMT
Google/HP Pavilion Chromebook 14 me.bin Ivy Bridge

The ME is inside the PCH, it:

  • Has access to the computer's memory/RAM
  • Controls the computer's original networking adapters
  • Signed firmware
Google Chromebook Pixel me.bin
Google/Acer C7 Chromebook me.bin
Google/Lenovo Thinkpad X131e Chromebook me.bin
Lenovo t530 AMT
Lenovo x230 AMT
Kotron KTQM77/mITX AMT?
Google/Acer C720 Chromebook  ? Haswell

The ME is inside the PCH, it:

  • Has access to the computer's memory/RAM
  • Controls the computer's original networking adapters
  • Signed firmware
Google/HP Chromebook 14  ?

Why there is no replacement for it yet

Replacing the ME firmware is not that easy because:

  • Its firmware is signed and the ME has a bootrom.
  • On recent chipset its RAM reagion is locked while it is allocated.

So even if some people partially documented some ME firmware format, there is very few probability of having a free software replacement for it one day.

See also