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Free Open Firmware implementation for PowerPC

Jun 14, 2005 — by Henry Kingman — from the LinuxDevices Archive
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IBM is offering a free open source implementation of the IEEE-1275 Open Firmware standard. Slimline Open Firmware (SLOF) can be used by software engineers developing boot firmware, operating systems, or applications for PowerPC, or by hardware engineers interested in fast bring-up of PowerPC-based systems, according to IBM's DeveloperWorks website.

According to the IEEE 1275 website, Open Firmware “provides a machine independent device interface, which can be used to boot plug-in cards without providing OS-specific and/or machine dependent binary programs on the plug-in card. This feature enables plug-in card manufacturers to easily support several independent computer architectures without needing to supply different firmware for each one.” For example, Open Firmware is used by Apple in Power Macintoshes with PCI buses, and by Sun in its OpenBoot product.

IBM says its SLOF implementation includes documentation, “largely machine-independent” low-level firmware for its JS20 server blades, a Forth engine for prototyping, and service processor code (Linux initialization scripts).

SLOF is available under a liberal OSS-approved license, IBM says. More details, and the download (registration required), can be found here.

This article was originally published on LinuxDevices and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

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