[coreboot] BadBIOS Thoughts

Carl-Daniel Hailfinger c-d.hailfinger.devel.2006 at gmx.net
Mon Nov 18 20:51:01 CET 2013

Am 18.11.2013 15:36 schrieb Patrick Georgi:
> For someone trying to pull this off, a good first step might be to
> inquire with vendors if they have long term supported AMD models, what
> "long term" means for them, and how to identify these models.
> Then, when the next generation AMD hardware comes out (eg. sometimes
> early 2014), pick one of those, do the port, put up a sales page.

AFAICS all long term supported models are business models, generally not
leading edge hardware, and often a bit more expensive than similar
bleeding-edge models.

Looking at a popular price comparison website
<http://www.heise.de/preisvergleich/?cat=nb> here in Germany, it can
safely be said that VIA CPUs are unavailable in the laptop market,
Intel-based CPUs with complete coreboot support are unavailable as well,
and non-x86 is not an option for quite a few use cases. That leaves us
with AMD-based laptops.

Would it be reasonable to say that a business laptop has between 12" and
15.9" display, at least 1.5 GHz CPU, and should be available for
delivery within 4 days? If yes, this is the list of possible targets:

The HP ProBook 455 G1 (H6P57EA) or the Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E535
(NZRFUGE) seem to be contenders with a reasonable price (below 500 EUR),
quite a few shops selling them, and as nice bonus features they have USB
3.0 and Gigabit LAN as well as a non-glare display. The CPU/chipset are
old enough to be supported and stable in coreboot. HP is advertising
their ProBook line as "business laptops", and Lenovo is doing the same
for the Thinkpad Edge series.

The interesting questions about the models are:
- Is there long-term (i.e. >1 year) availability for any of the models
in the price comparison list?
- Do we have a way of finding out the EC present in those models?

The organizational questions are:
- Does anyone have the spare time or spare cash needed to pull off a
coreboot port?
- Do we have the chance to get the EC datasheets and other info we need
to get coreboot working?

I fear that lack of spare time is probably the biggest hurdle. And for a
laptop vendor (except Google) to invest into coreboot we'd have to
convince them first.



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