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Thread: An Effort Making An Open-Source Radeon Video BIOS

  1. #1
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    Default An Effort Making An Open-Source Radeon Video BIOS

    Phoronix: An Effort Making An Open-Source Radeon Video BIOS

    OpenRadeonBIOS is a new open-source project seeking to create an open-source video BIOS for AMD/ATI Radeon graphics cards...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTQyMTg

  2. #2
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    What's the point?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmstick View Post
    What's the point?
    First it cant hurt. 2nd NSA Scandal. could somebody say me if you coulld implement a nsa backdoor into such a firmware and 2nd question, if not, could you do it in a driver like the proprietary nvidia driverblob or the one from amd?

    and another question is it possible to hinder a bios to make tcp connections and send data?

    I would love to have a coreboot patched system but they are very rare, at the moment.


    And no I dont think the radeon firmware is a big problem. the one from intel is also closedsource. I dont get the big difference rms does about if its flashable or not... antifeatures could be in the initial firmware if its possible.

    I would love to hear something about it. I am no driver developer so I am not shure, I think a firmware of a grafic card should not be able to make the kernel send data into the internet right? could a full blob do that? could it have direct hw-access to other cards or something?

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    Quote Originally Posted by blackiwid View Post
    First it cant hurt. 2nd NSA Scandal. could somebody say me if you coulld implement a nsa backdoor into such a firmware and 2nd question, if not, could you do it in a driver like the proprietary nvidia driverblob or the one from amd?

    and another question is it possible to hinder a bios to make tcp connections and send data?

    I would love to have a coreboot patched system but they are very rare, at the moment.


    And no I dont think the radeon firmware is a big problem. the one from intel is also closedsource. I dont get the big difference rms does about if its flashable or not... antifeatures could be in the initial firmware if its possible.

    I would love to hear something about it. I am no driver developer so I am not shure, I think a firmware of a grafic card should not be able to make the kernel send data into the internet right? could a full blob do that? could it have direct hw-access to other cards or something?
    And to add, it could new possibilities to enhance performance for amd/ati cards with free drivers on GNU/Linux and *BSD.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackiwid View Post
    First it cant hurt. 2nd NSA Scandal. could somebody say me if you coulld implement a nsa backdoor into such a firmware and 2nd question, if not, could you do it in a driver like the proprietary nvidia driverblob or the one from amd?

    and another question is it possible to hinder a bios to make tcp connections and send data?

    I would love to have a coreboot patched system but they are very rare, at the moment.


    And no I dont think the radeon firmware is a big problem. the one from intel is also closedsource. I dont get the big difference rms does about if its flashable or not... antifeatures could be in the initial firmware if its possible.

    I would love to hear something about it. I am no driver developer so I am not shure, I think a firmware of a grafic card should not be able to make the kernel send data into the internet right? could a full blob do that? could it have direct hw-access to other cards or something?
    None of that really sounds realistic to me. It's just a BIOS for a graphics card. It has nothing to do with anything other than 'basic input/out' functions for the card itself. The only reason I could think of for a custom BIOS is to enable disabled features (FireGL features on RadeonHD? They are literally the same cards). Or maybe a tool that allows you to create a custom BIOS with whatever voltages/frequencies you want. I still see no reason for this.
    Last edited by mmstick; 07-28-2013 at 12:22 AM.

  6. #6
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    To scratch an itch or enforce their philosophy. Some random guy who may be doing something cool or not doesn't need a reason that you agree with or not.


    And again, something cool might come out of it.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackiwid View Post
    First it cant hurt. 2nd NSA Scandal. could somebody say me if you coulld implement a nsa backdoor into such a firmware and 2nd question, if not, could you do it in a driver like the proprietary nvidia driverblob or the one from amd?
    When you run their code (the binary blob) you're running their code. That means if they wanted to, they could practically do anything given it is executed with root permissions which as far as I'm aware it is. I don't know about firmware. Anyone care to elaborate?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edogaa View Post
    To scratch an itch or enforce their philosophy. Some random guy who may be doing something cool or not doesn't need a reason that you agree with or not.


    And again, something cool might come out of it.
    Why should the community care about someone's overzealous 'philosophy'; that sounds ridiculously absurd. There is nothing subjective about this. If there is no practical use for something, then it is worthless whether you agree with it or not.

    Something 'cool' can't really come of this since it's just a simple BIOS that anyone could hack themselves. It's not like untapped potential is hidden in GPU BIOS's. Hardware is released with BIOS's that make full use of all their capabilities as is. Motherboard BIOS's are the only thing that would be worthy of looking into since they handle a much more significant portion of control over hardware in the system (like RAM models, timings, CPU support, etc).

  9. #9
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    Proprietary BIOS mean that only owner can fix it.

    PERIOD.

    That mean, inability by 3rd party radeon contributors to fix (or even verify) bugs in BIOS.

    That may or may not be a big problem here. (And lack of info about supported GPU also mean that we do not know if its solving any issues devs may encounter in new GPU's families)

    PS Basic Input Output System is just a name. Hit the dock before you attach "simple" label...

  10. #10
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    So what does it do? Control fan speeds? Control which clock times are availabe to the drivers? If so, then this is useful. Examples of 3rd party vendors putting broken things on the gpu are seen often enough in this forum here.

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