Sage Electronic Engineering now ships its Board Support Packages with enhanced versions of the Intel® Firmware Support Package (Intel® FSP), adding processor support, optimized bootloading solutions and expanded feature sets for open source firmware solutions.
“The Intel FSP has proved to be remarkably successful in enabling open source processor initialization on protected x86 architecture,” explained Scott Hoot, CEO at Sage. “But working through three generations of Intel processors made it clear that optimizing the source code of the Intel FSP itself is the best path to ensure the code reduction and performance required in robust and mission-critical firmware solutions provided by Sage.”
To support general purpose BIOS implementations on a wide variety of servers and PCs, Intel includes a large volume of Platform Initialization (PI) code for BIOS, which is rarely reduced by traditional BIOS vendors, said Drew Jensen, Chief Marketing Officer at Sage. The general purpose nature and volume of the PI code easily slows processor and memory initialization, especially for the extensive functions supported by UEFI and Legacy BIOS.
“Intel has swung the pendulum in the opposite direction with Intel FSP initialization, only implementing the minimum essential functions,” said Jensen, who in 2012 was the original Product Marketing Manager for the Intel FSP.
“Sage finds that customers in markets such as defense, industrial, medical, gaming, networking and other IoT segments need varying levels of performance and functionality at the firmware layer,” Jensen continued. “Sage now offers that flexibility in providing customizations of the Intel FSP code, which normally is provided only as a binary file.”
Sage has already back ported SageBIOS™ BSPs with modified Intel FSP binaries for Intel® Atom™ and Core™ Processors formerly known as Bay Trail and Haswell. Early access to design resources also permits Sage to jumpstart design activities for customers requiring development for pre-release silicon, such as variants of the 5th Generation Intel® Core™ Processors, formerly known as Broadwell.
Sage develops customized open source-based firmware, including coreboot®, for commercial applications with select features and optimizations, including “one-second” boots into real-time operating systems and enhanced debug and diagnostic capabilities, as well as expanded peripheral configuration. While the Intel FSP is designed for specific reference boards, Sage’s access to the source code can open the door to a wider choice of processors and atypical boards.
“The Intel FSP has already dramatically reduced the time between Intel processor introduction and access to that chip for open source embedded development,” Jensen said. “With Broadwell and other next generation processor releases this year from Intel we expect that open source development is on the same time line as BIOS development.”
Jensen will be traveling to Nuremberg, Germany to attend Embedded World Feb. 24-26, 2015. To meet with Jensen to discuss Sage’s open source firmware solutions, please call +1.480.600.2429 or email drew(dot)jensen(at)se-eng(dot)com.
About Sage Electronic Engineering
Sage Electronic Engineering, LLC, of Longmont, Colo. (http://www.se-eng.com) is the leading x86 open source firmware vendor providing royalty-free Board Support Packages that marry open source (including coreboot®) with proprietary software. Sage partners with processor manufacturers, including AMD and Intel®, to provide coreboot solutions for the open source community, as well as developing customized SageBIOS™ BSPs for customers desiring the flexibility of open source firmware backed by rigorously tested, validated and supported solutions.