[coreboot] coreboot v4.1

Carl-Daniel Hailfinger c-d.hailfinger.devel.2006 at gmx.net
Wed Apr 1 12:44:59 CEST 2009

[Distribution to news outlets is encouraged.]

I'm happy to announce that today coreboot v4.1 has been released.

Besides being totally redesigned, it is super-fast, handles almost every
existing chipset, opens our codebase to contributors without lowlevel C
skills and is generally something to be celebrated. Not to mention the
environmental friendliness and promotion of world peace.

Features include, but are not limited to:

- LARROMFS-NG, allowing code and configuration storage in the ROM
without risking accidental reflashes. With its clean and simple design,
you can store hundreds of different file types easily in the ROM, each
of them being handled by a different plugin.

- SQL-based chipset programming. Gone are the days where you had to
differentiate between accessing PCI regs via struct device, u32 or
device_t variants. Now you can use statements like:
SELECT val_32bit FROM pci WHERE buslocation="badc:0f:fe.e" AND
or the even simpler
SELECT val_32bit FROM pci NATURAL JOIN configbytes WHERE
buslocation="badc:0f:fe.e" AND configbytename="Vendor ID";
Changing PCI config space follows similar rules.

- A SQL interpreter in coreboot which handles all chipset code. This SQL
interpreter combines the clarity of obfuscated FORTH with the speed of
unoptimized SQL.

- Self-modifying code! As we all know, self-modifying code has less bugs
because any given bug disappears after the code has been modified often
enough. Plus, this is a good way to exercise CPUs to detect hardware
problems more easily.

- Fancy linker scripts. LARROMFS-NG is the next generation archiving
solution for all our needs because it does not rely on inherently
bug-prone C code. LARROMFS-NG is implemented as a really big and
all-encompassing set of linker scripts which can even link new linkers
together which reinterpret these linker scripts.

- New plugin architecture. Coreboot v4.1 will faithfully execute any and
all code presented on any device attached to the board. Due to that,
trojanizing computers becomes a piece of cake, freeing up the precious
time of the intelligence community for more pressing problems like world

- Multi-language error messages. Although chinese error messages were a
bit difficult to store in 7-bit ASCII, we created a lossy compression
scheme which will hardly ever insult users by accident.

- An animated splash screen with sound. This was one of the most wanted
features in the past, but coreboot was too fast for anyone to notice the
splash screen. Now we have a mandatory delay of 20 seconds, enough for
short movies and even some tacked on ads.

- Ultra-secure Suspend-to-RAM (S3) for people worried of RAM readout
(the "cold boot attacks" with frozen RAM). During every suspend cycle,
coreboot completely wipes the RAM and will resume to a data-free system.

- WORN technology. This is shorthand for Write Once, Read Never. Others
practice that coding tradition by accident, but we have perfected it as
an art.

- Double use technology. Most people think of weapons when they hear
this, but it's more simple and a lot more environmentally friendly. Your
CPU will not only calculate stuff, coreboot can also switch off the fans
on demand to make sure the CPU will fry your omelette exactly right.

- Less-than-zero boot times. Ever had the problem that your boot took
too long? We have the simple solution: Once coreboot is finished with
initializing the hardware, it will set back your clock by 30 seconds.
Even with the mandatory 20 second delay for splash movies, you can
finish booting 9-10 seconds before you switched the machine on.

- Real life impact. With a less-than-zero boot time, time goes
effectively backward. If you assemble a big enough cluster of coreboot
machines, you can undo the worst decisions of your life.

As you can see, coreboot v4.1 is the best thing since the invention of
sliced bread. It even makes firmware veterans spin in their graves to
act as human-powered electricity generators (a nice environmental plus).

To limit the impact on the real world (especially due to the time
machine properties), this coreboot version will only be available for
download this April 1st.

the coreboot team


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