According to Phoronix, firmware developer 3MDEB has recently implemented Coreboot support -- with the help of Dasharo, to MSI's Z690-A Pro WiFi DDR4 motherboard. Coreboot is a replacement for factory UEFI's and BIOS' which promises to be a faster, more flexible, and more secure firmware for your motherboard or laptop.
This added support by 3MDEB represents one of the incredibly few times Coreboot has come to a completely modern platform, especially on a desktop motherboard. It is also the first publicly available port of Coreboot to a mainstream Alder Lake-supported motherboard.
For the uninitiated, Coreboot is an open-source firmware platform aimed at providing systems with a lighter weight and more feature-rich UEFI/BIOS than the ones provided by OEMs. Thanks to its open-source nature, updates, and improvements to Coreboot can be worked on by a multitude of developers and can be constant.
As such, Coreboot is promised to be a more modern and streamlined UEFI/BIOS compared to what OEMs can deliver right now.
For end-users, one of Coreboot's biggest promised features is a significantly faster boot-up times compared to OEM UEFI/BIOS, up to 70%. Making the boot-up time from power button press to the beginning of an OS startup almost non-existent. Other features include security improvements, a nearly unbrickable update process, and much more.
But in order for Coreboot to work, it needs a firmware distribution to work from. That's where Dasharo comes in, Dasharo is a company whose expertise is in making firmware compatible with certain platforms. Dasharo will integrate Coreboot's firmware, additional features, and platform support for either Intel FPS or AMD AGESA into a package that can be installed onto a system. 3mdeb's job has been to port this firmware distribution to the Z690-A Pro WiFi in particular and makes sure it's fully functional.
Already booting an Ubuntu 20.04 installer on MSI PRO Z690-A WiFi DDR4 with #Intel #AlderLakeS CPU using @coreboot_org. First Dasharo binary release coming soon with display, USB, and UEFI boot support. pic.twitter.com/rXvHjQhUFLApril 12, 2022
For now, open-source BIOS is still in its preliminary phase, but according to a Tweet by Dasharo, a binary release will be coming soon with display, USB, and UEFI boot support.
Based on Coreboot's functionality, we hope this port to the MSI Z690-A Pro WiFi offers big improvements to security and performance over MSI's standard UEFI. However, user discretion is advised if you want to take a crack at this BIOS as it is still an unofficial port that can be prone to bugs not seen on MSI's official firmware.