Lecture: Coreboot: x86 system boot and initialization

From poweron to Linux in 0.5 seconds


coreboot, the blazing fast x86/x86_64 BIOS/EFI replacement, is coming to a system near you. Learn about coreboot, how it handles x86 initialization in detail and watch a live demo.

We would like to present a talk aimed to various stages of x86 hardware initialization. We start with hardware description of typical x86 system including flash storage. We switch to the software part, defining the CPU state while it fetches first instruction. We present a step by step procedure with a descriptions of various steps (DRAM initialization, Northbridge/Southbridge initialization) necessary to bring the system to point where it can boot OS. Luckily there are Free software projects working close together - Coreboot, SeaBIOS, which we would like to introduce during the talk.

coreboot (formerly known as LinuxBIOS) is a Free Software project aimed at replacing the proprietary BIOS (firmware) you can find in most of today's computers. It performs just a little bit of hardware initialization and then executes a so-called payload.

This talk needs at least 30 minutes (without questions), and our experience is that we'll easily need 15 minutes or more for Q&A.

We could split this into a talk and a workshop where people can bring their own mainboards and/or learn how to build coreboot and take preflashed firmware chips home for a few selected mainboards.


Day: 2011-08-20
Start time: 16:30
Duration: 01:00
Track: Open Hardware



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