Recent Progress of coreboot on Laptops
- coreboot now supports the Roda RK886EX (Rocky III+) Laptop, based on Intel 82945GM/ICH7.
- VIA has recently released open documentation for the VX700 and VX800 chipsets at the VIA Download Portal.
The remaining issue with supporting netbooks may be open firmware support for the Embedded Controller (EC). These ECs used to support keyboard scan, lid open/closed, battery charging, power management, etc.
coreboot should work with the "stock" EC 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)?
These ECs are supported by coreboot. There are several versions, with flash and with mask roms. Only the flash versions are update-able. These ECs are Family 740 based. A development environment including compiler and simulator is available from Renesas.
Very common ECs in netbooks are the KB3310, KB3910 and KB3920 from ENE Technology. The ENE ECs are 8051 based.
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.
More discussion and info on the ENE EC's:
- ENE KB3700 datasheet.
- eeeUser Discussion
- Memory map of ENE KB3310
- 8051 simulator
- OpenEC Firmware
- OpenEC Project
- Example code that makes use of the KB3310's "Index IO" access functions.
Some ECs are H8 based.
This page attempts to list chipsets, Super I/Os, flash chips, and especially embedded controllers used in various laptops.
|Vendor||Model||CPU||Chipset (NB/SB)||Super I/O||EC||Flash Chip||Flash Size||Flash S.||Flash T.||Owner|
|ASUS||S96F/Z96F||Intel Core™2 Duo T7400||Intel i945/ICH7||ITE IT8510E||in Super I/O||?||?||?||?||macavity|
|Dell||Latitude CPi A366XT||PII, 360 MHz||Intel 440BX||SMSC FDC37N958FR||in Super I/O||AMD AM29F040B||512KB||yes||PLCC||UH|
|Dell||Latitude C610||PIII, 1.2 GHz||Intel i830||SMSC LPC47N252||in Super I/O||SST SST49LF004A||512KB||no||PLCC||CybFr|
|Fujitsu-S.||Lifebook S-4572||PIII, 750 MHz||Intel 82440MX||SMSC FDC37N769||?||Fujitsu MBM29F400T1||?||no||TSOP(?)||UH|
|Fujitsu-S.||Lifebook S7110||Intel Core™2 Duo T7200||Intel i945/ICH7||SMSC LPC47N217||Fujitsu MB90378||Spansion S25FL008A2||1024 kB||no||SO8 / SPI||twice11|
|Gericom||Webboy 340S2||PIII||SiS630||NSC PC87393VJG||NSC PC87570||Winbond 29C020||256 kB||yes||PLCC||NS|
|Gateway||6020GZ||Celeron M||Intel 855GME||??||??||??||??||??||??||Juri|
|Highscreen||XD 14-C1700||Intel Celeron 1.7 GHz||SiS650||NSC PC87391(?)||?||EON EN29F040(A)||512 kB||yes||PLCC||UH|
|HP||Omnibook XE3(L)||PIII, 750 MHz||Intel 82371MB/PIIX4M||SMSC FDC37N869||NSC PC87570||SST 28SF040A||512 kB||no||PLCC||UH|
|IBM||Thinkpad T30||Intel P4 Mobile, 1.8 GHz||Intel i845/ICH3-M||NSC PC87392||Renesas H8S 64F3169ATE10||ST M50FW080N5||1024 kB||no||TSOP40 / FWH||edgecase|
|One||A110||VIA C7-M ULV 1.0 GHz||VIA VX800||none||ENE KB3310||?||?||no||?||UH|
|Panasonic||Toughbook CF-25||P166MMX||FW82439TX (430TX)/FW82371AB||NSC PC87336VJG||Renesas 3886||SST SST29EE020||256 kB||no||?||Miernik|
|Roda||Rocky III+ RK886EX||Intel® Core 2 Duo Mobile T5500||Intel 945 / ICH7||SMSC® LPC47N227||Renesas M38859||?||?||?||?||?|
|Roda||Rocky II+ RT686||Intel Pentium III||Intel 430BX / FW82371EB||SMSC® FDC37N769||Renesas M38867M8A||SST SST29LE020||256KB||yes||PLCC/parallel||UH|
|Sony||Vaio Picturebook PCG-C1XD||P2 400||443ZX||?||?||ST M29W004BT||512 kB||no||Miernik|
|Sony||Vaio Picturebook PCG-C1X||P266MMX||430TX||?||?||?||?||?||?||Miernik|
|Toshiba||Libretto 50M PA1243CM||P133||custom FPGA||?||?||?||?||?||?||Miernik|
|Toshiba||Satellite A80-117||Intel Celeron||Intel 915GM/ICH6||SMSC LPC47N217||ENE KB910||?||1024 kB||no||TSOP (?)||UH|
1 According to the vendor BIOS update tool.
2 Nice thing: EC/Flash is not shared, so you can erase the whole flash during system operation (this was tested).
- Tuxmobil Laptop Survey
- Laptops/Notebooks with Linux Preinstalled
- The Free Software Foundation's Campaign for Free BIOS
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
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
- Makers of Laptops
- Laptop and NoteBook Manufacturer - OEM/ODM Relation Matrix
- Where to Buy a Preinstalled Linux Laptop, Notebook, Mobile Phone or PDA? - Vendor Overview
Random Product Links
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: