Coreboot Is Being Ported To A New Intel Skylake-Y System
Written by Michael Larabel in Coreboot on 20 September 2016 at 12:12 PM EDT. 16 Comments
COREBOOT --
Those wishing to use Coreboot on a modern Intel system (albeit with the closed-source FSP) will soon have another option to consider with an open-source, physically secure computer powered by a Skylake-Y SoC moving ahead with a port to Coreboot.

Coreboot is being ported to the ORWL. ORWL is the "first open-source, physically secure computer" that is currently being crowd-funded on CrowdSupply. The ORWL has already raised $30k of its $25k USD goal with 16 days remaining.

The ORWL will be powered by an Intel Skylake M3 or M7 SoC, Intel 515 graphics, and various storage options and other configurations. Ubuntu and Windows 10 are among the supported systems.

What makes the ORWL physically secure is having a Cortex-M3 powered secure micro-controller built onto the motherboard, a secure key via NFC is also needed for booting, and any physical tampering with the unit will cause the auto-encrypted SSD to be erased. An active clamshell mesh around the computer ensures that the computer cannot be physically opened. The ORWL is planned to be open-source down to all schematics plus the relevant controller and key fob firmwares, etc.


Those wishing to learn more about the ORWL can find the details via this Crowd Supply page. Pricing on this "secure" computer starts out at $699 USD.

What's new to report on now is that ORWL/Design-Shift is moving forward and financing their Coreboot port for this system -- unlike some other vendors that just hope the community does the port, etc. ORWL has made public their statement of work with Eltan B.V. for ensuring Coreboot can power this system and it will work with both Linux and Windows operating systems. Those interested can read the SoW. The port will be open-source but like other modern Intel systems will rely upon the closed-source FSP (Firmware Support Package). While the binary blob from Intel is a disappointment, at least Coreboot will be running on another modern system.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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