Matthijs Kooijman wrote:
> > > http://pcengines.ch/alix.htm
> > coreboot
> It seems that these boards are shipped with TinyBIOS, which is also
> release under an open license. Is coreboot so much faster/more
I certainly think so, but as a coreboot developer I will be biased.
TinyBIOS is a light and lean BIOS while coreboot has another focus.
coreboot doesn't want to be a BIOS, it only does very early hardware
initialization and then it hands over to another program (the payload
in coreboot terms) which can be a bootloader (FILO for kernels on
disk, EtherBoot/gPXE network etc) or a Linux kernel or even an
application using the C library libpayload. There is also an open
source BIOS payload called SeaBIOS. The payload goes with coreboot
into the flash chip.
> Also, I don't see any removable flash chip on the boards. Does this
> mean that if^H^Hwhen you brick the board, it's over, or is there
> some backdoor?
As was mentioned, the LPC bus is available on a pin header, and
PC Engines offer the LPC.1A product for those who want to experiment
with firmware: http://pcengines.ch/lpc1a.htm
It's not available in the order form, but just send them an email,
they are very friendly.
Of course you can also hook up a ROM emulator to the LPC bus. There
are a few different products available, more or less commercial. One
open source solution called the FLASH-PLAICE just uses the Xilinx
Spartan 3E FPGA eval board.
PC Engines also make pinouts and many schematics available online
which warms the hardware hacker hearts.