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.