[coreboot] flashrom licensing

Richard Smith smithbone at gmail.com
Thu Jun 25 16:07:36 CEST 2009

Carl-Daniel Hailfinger wrote:

> (The problem is that the Cheetah driver library has internally
> conflicting licenses, some of which suggest linking GPL code against it
> is not allowed. I (or maybe someone with more leverage) will try to
> address this with TotalPhase.)

If you never ship a binary then there's no problem.  I don't have any 
issues against Cheetah support having to be enabled via a compile switch 
  and a recompile by the user.  The user has to go download and install 
the Cheetah libraries anyway so there's always a manual step.

If such time as someone with a commercial interest wants to distribute a 
flashrom binary then they can work with TotalPhase.

Unfortunately, the Cheetah requires a hardware modification to be useful 
as a 3.3V programmer [1] so unless TotalPhase re-spins the hardware I 
would not recommend it.

Of course this is probably not going to be the last time this issue 
comes up if you start trying to add support for commercial programmers 
so dealing with it now may be useful.

[1] The cheetah has inputs/outputs that are 3.3V safe but the target 
power is 5V only.  3.6V is available on the hardware board and you can 
modify it such that the target output uses that rather than 5V.  For 
OLPC our SPI part is ok with 3.6V but other parts might not be.  A small 
regulator would be necessary for those parts.

I've fed my comments back to TotalPhase but from the response I don't 
get the feeling it will change anytime soon.

Richard A. Smith
smithbone at gmail.com

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