We are thrilled to announce that 9elements, the largest open-source firmware vendor worldwide, has joined forces with AMD to enable systems using their new 4th Gen EPYC CPUs to run with open-source firmware. This groundbreaking collaboration marks a pivotal milestone in the open-source firmware movement and paves the way for new industry standards.
As part of our collaboration, AMD developed a revolutionary library called AMD openSIL, which is responsible for the silicon initialization of their cutting-edge server systems. In contrast to Intel's Firmware Support Package (FSP) - a binary that coreboot calls into - openSIL is open-source and can be directly linked into coreboot. This offers substantial benefits for the open-source community, as they can now build upon and connect to the open-source code directly, rather than relying on unknown binary blobs that lack transparency.
What is AMD openSIL?
Before we dive deeper, let's first clarify what openSIL is. openSIL, or open-source Silicon Initialization Library, is a library designed to enable host firmware solutions to boot modern AMD server platforms seamlessly across the product market segments at scale. AMD's openSIL is committed to becoming entirely open-source and provides an interface for the host firmware to call into, initializing the AMD silicon and booting up as a Proof-of-Concept on 4th Gen AMD EPYC CPU based platforms.
Over the past months, 9elements and AMD have collaborated closely to support AMD openSIL development. In addition, 9elements has assisted AMD in developing a host firmware solution based on coreboot. At the OCP Regional Summit, 9elements will showcase the AMD openSIL demo, where coreboot+AMD openSIL+LinuxBoot boots an AMD EPYC CPU-based platform.
coreboot Support on Modern Server Platforms
This remarkable progress demonstrates the industry's shift towards open-source firmware. In the server market, it is now possible to boot all major SoCs - AMD, Intel, and Ampere - with open-source firmware. While coreboot nowadays supports Intel and AMD SoCs, Ampere SoC currently rely on EDKII/TianoCore only. However, Dong Wei, Lead Standards Architect and Fellow at ARM, announced at ByteDance's Cloud FW Event in March that ARM is exploring solutions to have coreboot + LinuxBoot running on ARM-based systems. We anticipate more developments from ARM at the OCP Global Summit and the Open-Source Firmware Conference.
In summary, the collaboration between 9elements and AMD represents a monumental development for the open-source firmware movement. The open-sourcing of AMD openSIL and its integration into coreboot will not only benefit AMD and 9elements but the entire open-source community. The shift towards open-source firmware solutions promises to usher in a new era of transparency and security within the industry, and this partnership is a significant stride towards realizing that vision.