Not All Of The IBM POWER10 Firmware Is Currently Open-Source
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 8 September 2021 at 08:00 AM EDT. 24 Comments
HARDWARE --
Power E1080 server as their first in a new family of servers based on the IBM POWER10 processor. Sadly though not all of the POWER10 firmware is open-source.

While POWER9 was big for open-source fans with the formation of the OpenPOWER Foundation and Raptor Computing Systems designing POWER9-based systems that are fully open-source down to schematics and the motherboard firmware, the same can't be currently said about POWER10.

Raptor Computing Systems previously hinted that it might not be all rosy for POWER10 when it comes to open-source and at least for the initial rollout, it does appear to be that way.

While IBM has published a lot of the POWER10 firmware as open-source, remaining closed for at least the time being is their off-chip OMI DRAM bridge and their on-chip PPE I/O processor.

Due to being blocked by not having open-source firmware in those areas, Raptor isn't currently working on any POWER10-based designs but hopes that with time IBM will open-source the remaining components.

The OMI bridge firmware is binary only and the PPE I/O processor is also distributed as just compiled firmware.

At least the POWER10 firmware stack is more open than some other platforms, but hopefully they will be able to make it fully open-source in the not too distant future so Raptor Computing Systems and others can deliver fully open-source next-generation, high performance servers.
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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 20,000 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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