CHIP DESIGNER AMD has announced that its upcoming Llano accelerated processing unit (APU) will support Coreboot.
AMD has been pushing development the BIOS replacement initiative Coreboot for many years but has focused on getting support for its embedded and server processors. Now the company has come out and said that all of its future processors will support Coreboot, from Llano onwards.
The Coreboot project aims to replace the aging BIOS system but has had relatively little support outside of its major project contributors. AMD, one of the project's largest contributors has supported Coreboot with its embedded line of Geode processors all the way up to its Opteron line of workstation and server chips. Now, however, it's going to tip up on chips aimed at consumers.
Kevin Tanguay, senior product marketing manager for AMD's embedded solutions group said, "AMD has come to realize that coreboot is useful in a myriad of applications and markets, even beyond what was originally considered." Tanguay added that in addition to basic Coreboot support, AMD is working hard on bringing out power management support including 'suspend to RAM' support, which Tanguay claims "is critical for power-sensitive applications".
Coreboot typically loads a cut down version of the Linux kernel, although it can be set up to load any kernel. Along with Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) and OpenBIOS, Coreboot is seen as a viable alternative to the dated and cumbersome BIOS code that is used in the vast majority of x86 architecture personal computers including netbooks, laptops, desktops, workstations and servers.
With AMD bringing Coreboot support to its desktop Llano APUs, the pressure should build for the motherboard makers to finally ditch BIOS. µ