[coreboot] coreboot/Flashrom: Sponsor needed for promotion for LinuxTag or any other IT fair, trade show, conference

Paul Menzel paulepanter at users.sourceforge.net
Tue Apr 17 09:55:24 CEST 2012

Dear coreboot and Flashrom folks,

the idea is to give out flash chips for free to people (LinuxTag in
Berlin from May 23rd to 26th) asking them to test Flashrom and try
coreboot. Where the flash chips are given away, at the coreboot or
Flashrom booth or at the sponsor’s booth does not matter much.


In my experience having to buy flash chips (or a programmer) is the
biggest hurdle to development or testing. Although 20 € for shipping and
such is not *that* much it seems to be for some people. Additionally
since mostly you cannot buy such things in the shop around the corner it
is quite time consuming to shop online.


For coreboot it could mean just telling people to build an image similar
to their board, switch the chip, flash the image to the given chip and
then test it. So because people coming home having means to try coreboot
(more) easily will get them to the project.

For Flashrom people could test if their mainboard supports all
operations, especially erase and wrote, so we could better coverage of
mainboard support [1]. Of course only for boards supporting the given
away chip.

Type of chip

I have not much of a clue, but I guess the flash chip should have DIP8
form factor and support the SPI protocol. The size should be 16 or 32 Mb

Help is needed here for suggestions.

Quantity and Price 

500 or 1000 chip should be a reasonable amount to get. One developer (in
Europe?) (going to most fairs) could store them and if there is another
event (in Europe) the developer will not attend then he could mail a
certain amount of chips to developers attending that event.

On IRC scientes found an offer for order of 1000+ pieces for an 32Mbit
chip for $1.77 for a piece. Therefore getting 1000 chips would cost 2000

Money and sponsors

It would be great if a company or organization would be willing to
finance that project. Maybe the developers who work at
company/organizations doing coreboot or Flashrom work or deployment
could lobby for the support in their company/organization.

Besides good press coverage and improved reputation I write up some
arguments for some companies or organizations.

### AMD ###

Although a statement was made to support coreboot and code for chipset
support is contributed, board ports are lacking. Making it easy for
people to port coreboot to more AMD boards and by doing so also fix bug
or clean up the code should be in AMD’s interest.

### Intel ###

The known reasons apply. Now that the coreboot team at Google made the
Sandy Bridge port for their Chromebooks [3], it easier than ever to make
a port for other Intel boards with that chipset.

### Google ###

Just plain Free Software principle. By having people work with or try
out coreboot, code Google uses will be tested and improved. Also Google
doing Flashrom development more testing would be beneficial in that area

### Microsoft, Ubuntu and other Free Software distributions ###

Having a BIOS replacement which takes less time to initialize the
hardware and let the operating system take over, will (indirectly)
improve the experience of their users.

### FSF (Free Software Foundation) ###

As coreboot is a high priority project at the FSF they could support
such promotions financially.

### BSI (Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik) ###

Having companies and citizens using coreboot will be lead to more secure
systems, since coreboot being free software it can be audited by
everyone and updates do not depend on the willingness of the vendor.

It would be awesome if we could get that project going. I am curious how
it will turn out.



[1] http://flashrom.org/Supported_hardware#Supported_mainboards
[2] http://flashrom.org/Technology
[3] http://blogs.coreboot.org/blog/2012/04/02/google-releases-sandybridge-support-for-coreboot/
[4] http://www.fsf.org/campaigns/priority-projects/
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