Recent Progress of coreboot on Laptops
The VIA vx700 and vx800 chipsets have recently become popular in many netbook designs. Most of these netbooks are being produced by Quanta for several different OEM's.
VIA has recently released open documentation for the vx700 and vx800 chipsets at the VIA Download Portal and open documentation for the latest Unichrome graphics controllers. VIA has also released binary unichrome drivers with 2D and 3D accel support for Ubuntu 8.04 and 8.10 as well as source for 2D at VIA Linux Portal.
VIA is currently developing coreboot support for the vx800 chipset. openChrome support including 2D and 3D accel is also in the works for many new chipsets including the vx700 and vx800.
The remaining issue with supporting these and other similar netbooks may be open firmware support for the Embedded Controller (EC). The most common EC's in these netbooks are the KB3310, KB3910 and KB3920 from ENE Technology. The ENE EC's are 8051 based and are used to support keyboard scan, lid open/closed, battery charging, power management, etc.
coreboot may work with the "stock" firmware. This may still be a challenge because "we don't know what we don't know". Behavior at runtime is fairly standardized, but we don't know what we need to do for initialization - do we need to set up registers, put in tables, kick things, or will it all Just Work (TM)?
- ENE KB3700 datasheet.
The Quanta IL1 reference design seems to use ENE3310 controller. The q1d25i.rom was examined. The EC code is on 0xFFF00000 on One Mini A110. Its 64KB big HOLE0.ROM.
Example code that makes use of the KB3310's "Index IO" access functions.
More discussion and info on the ENE EC's:
VIA has a list of many netbooks at VIA Partner Mobility Devices.
VIA also has information on other mobile platforms at VIA Mobility Platform.
The Quanta IL1 vx800 based reference design covers similar models/clones such as:
- One Mini A110/A115/A120/A140/A150/A470
- Airis Kira 100/350/740
- Norhtec Gecko
- Pioneer DreamBook Light IL1
- CTL IL1 More CTL IL1 info with tear-down pics.
- ACi Ethos 7
- BDSI Deep Blue H1
Other vx800 based netbooks:
There are still a few netbook designs currently on the market that use the VIA vx700 chipset.
There are also several AMD 690/600 laptops still available that may be candidates as well:
Intel Atom with i945 chipset netbooks:
A few earlier coreboot discussions on laptops are linked here, you might get useful information out of them:
- Any update on coreboot for laptops
- Notebook 340s2 (sis630) 256k Flash
- yet another reason to use coreboot in laptops I guess
- coreboot laptop hunt wiki page
- HP Pavillion ZV5000 (Laptop)
- Laptop with Sis 650 chipset
- coreboot on Laptops
This page attempts to list laptops to find out which one might be easiest to port coreboot to.
|Vendor||Model||CPU||Chipset||Video||Super I/O||EC||Flash Chip||Flash Size||Flash Socketed||Flash Type||Still Made||Major Obstacle||Owner|
|Panasonic||Toughbook CF-25 CF-25LJM8EAM||P166MMX||430TX||MagicGraph 128ZV NM2093||Renesas 3886||SST 29EE020||256 kB||no||no||Miernik|
|Toshiba||Libretto 50M PA1243CM||P133||custom FPGA||C&T 65550||no||Miernik|
|Sony||Vaio Picturebook PCG-C1XD||P2 400||443ZX||MagicMedia 256AV NM2200||M29W004BT||512 kB||no||no||Miernik (broken)|
|Sony||Vaio Picturebook PCG-C1X||P266MMX||430TX||MagicMedia 256AV NM????||no||Miernik (stolen)|
|Gericom||Webboy 340S2||PIII||SiS630||SiS630||PC87393VJG||PC87570||Winbond 29C020||256 kB||yes||PLCC||Norbert Schmidt|
|Highscreen||XD 14-C1700||Intel Celeron 1.7 GHz||SiS650||SiS65x/M650/740||PC87391(?)||?||EON EN29F040(A)||512 kB||yes||PLCC||no||No SIS650 docs||Uwe Hermann|
|HP||Omnibook XE3(L)||PIII, 750 MHz||Intel 82371MB PIIX4M||?||SMSC FDC37N869||?||?||?||no||PLCC||?||?||Uwe Hermann|
|Fujitsu-Siemens||Lifebook S-4572||PIII, 750 MHz||Intel 82440MX||ATI Rage Mobility P/M [1002:4c52]||SMSC FDC37N769||?||Fujitsu MBM29F400T1||?||no||SPI(?), TSOP(?)||no||Soldered ROM, EC||Uwe Hermann|
|Dell||Latitude CPi A366XT||PII, 360 MHz||Intel 440BX||MagicGraph 256AV [10c8:0005]||SMSC FDC37N958FR||in Super I/O||AM29F040B||?||yes||PLCC||no||...||Uwe Hermann|
|One||A110]||VIA C7-M ULV 1.0 GHz||VIA VX800||VIA VX800||?||ENE KB3310||?||?||no||?||no||Soldered ROM, EC||Uwe Hermann|
1 According to the vendor BIOS update tool.
- Tuxmobil Laptop Survey
- Laptops/Notebooks with Linux Preinstalled
- The Free Software Foundation's Campaign for Free BIOS
Who really makes your laptop?
There are several various brands of laptops, but there are only a few actual laptop makers.
Name brand companies like Hewlet Packard, Compaq, IBM, Dell, Gateway, Sony, Micron, Toshiba and others; including Alienware and Voodoo do not make their own laptops. The exceptions are Asus and Apple, and even Apple doesn't make all of their laptops.
Original Design Manufacturers (ODM) make the laptops for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM). They in turn, add their preloaded hard drives and sell them to consumers. This is why a laptop is a bit more complicated to support with coreboot. The OEM's may not even have all the specifications for the laptop since the ODM has done all the design and assembly.
Some Laptop ODMs are:
- Quanta makes laptops for Sony, Dell, and IBM
- Inventec and Arima make the Compaq line
- Compal also makes IBM and Dell lines, as well as Hewlett Packard
- Clevo makes the popular Alienware and Voodoo gaming laptops