3 December 2021
Request for opening the source code for the PSE on Elkhart Lake.

Dear Intel IOTG management.

The upstreaming and approval process for Elkhart Lake in the coreboot project is currently ongoing and the PSE firmware is entering the open-source world as a closed binary blob. This new blob is causing acceptance issues within the open source coreboot community.

coreboot is a lean and tightly integrated firmware framework for various hardware platforms. The high integration level allows us to avoid redundancies that otherwise would make firmware development harder and result in bugs and vulnerabilities. This model enables us to provide high quality firmware.

This goal of highly integrated firmware can only be achieved if the code that is integrated into coreboot is available as source code. Every piece of executable code that is loaded in binary form during the boot time contradicts this approach and produces tension within the project. Having the source code for all pieces in the boot flow enables us to find the most suitable solution across all cores and to build the firmware for all cores from a single source.

It's also a quality concern: it's impossible to evaluate the quality of executable code provided in binary form, and given the privileged position firmware has in a design this impacts the trustworthiness of the complete platform.

Since Elkhart Lake is the first platform with PSE, we want to avoid the precedent that the PSE firmware is provided as binary only: From experience it's hard to go back once binary only components have been established.

To support all these goals (ability to review, ability to improve, ability to tightly integrate) for Elkhart Lake firmware, we request that you make PSE firmware available as open source.

In addition to source code availability under an open source license, having the documentation for the PSE subsystem publicly available will enable everybody interested to develop applications based on the PSE, which increases the value of the platform for customers.


113 verified
  1. Werner Zeh, Firmware Engineer, Siemens AG
  2. Pitrolle JJ, eng, personal, le-pecq
  3. Network Admin, IT, Technology Dept., ASHEVILLE
  4. Matt DeVillier, coreboot engineer, Purism SPC, Round Rock
  5. Sven Semmler, Principal Embedded Solutions Engineer, Austin, TX
  6. Sean Rhides, Engineer, Star Labs, Godalming
  7. Husni Faiz, University of Moratuwa
  8. Federico Denkena, Enthusiast
  9. Ivan Ivanov, Enthusiast, Enthusiast, Russia
  10. Markus Vögele, privacy & security advocate, Germany
  11. Moisés Simón, Enthusiast, Enthusiast, Madrid, Spain
  12. Vojtech Vesely, Engineer, Siemens, Pilsen
  13. Christian Walter, Head of Firmware Development, 9elements GmbH, Bochum
  14. Paul Menzel, System architect, Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, Berlin
  15. Piotr, IT, ActivePC, Warszawa
  16. Philip Müller, CEO, Manjaro GmbH & Co. KG, Munich
  17. Angel Pons, coreboot developer, 9elements GmbH
  18. Michael Benedix, Global Head of Development, secunet Security Networks AG, Dresden
  19. Nico Huber, Senior Coreboot Developer, secunet Security Networks AG, Eschborn
  20. Felix Singer, coreboot developer, secunet Security Networks AG, Darmstadt
73 more
verified signatures
  1. Michele Baldessari, Engineer, Bolzano
  2. Tóth Áron, Developer, Budapesti Inter-Fa, Budapest
  3. Peter Robinson, Software Engineer, London
  4. Maya Bonkowski, system architect, n/a, London
  5. Alex Gurenko, Senior Software Quality Engineer, Red Hat GmbH, Dachau
  6. Georg Hackel, CS student, Leipzig
  7. Ben Iofel, Software Engineer, New York
  8. Yash Lad, Student, Nashik
  9. Yves Mermoud
  10. harwal, Teacher, Portland
  11. Robert Zetterstrom, COO, Baezeni, Chonburi
  12. Julius Werner, Firmware Engineer, Google
  13. Wesley Gahr, Application security specialist, Securify, Amsterdam
  14. Philippe Charlebois, Dentist, South Burlington VT USA
  15. Ben Puhalski, Thunder Bay
  16. Oliver Galvin, Developer, Luton
  17. Mark Maas, Linux Systems Admin, Maas-Martin B.V., Amsterdam
  18. Hasjim Williams, Firmware Engineer, Brisbane
  19. Simon Newton, Vp, London
  20. Martin Roth, Firmware Engineer, Google, LLC, Longmont, CO, USA
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