A few days ago the laptop manufacturer computer framework, which is in favor of giving users the right to self-repair and trying to make its products as convenient as possible for disassembling, upgrading and replacing components, announced source code release of the integrated controller (EC) firmware used in the Laptop Framework.
The main idea of the Laptop Framework is to provide the ability to build a laptop from modules, similar to how a user can assemble a desktop from separate components that are not mandated by a specific manufacturer.
Framework Laptop can be ordered piecemeal and assembled by the user on an end device. Each component of the device is clearly labeled and is easily removed. If necessary, the user can quickly replace any module and, in the event of a breakdown, try to repair his device on his own, using the instructions and videos provided by the manufacturer with information on assembly / disassembly, component replacement and repair.
We are pleased to announce that we have released the open source Embedded Controller (EC) firmware for the Laptop Framework, available today on GitHub. This is based on Google's chromium-ec project, which is the EC firmware used on Chromebooks. We have released our variant under the same 3 clause BSD license which allows you to modify, share and reuse it as you wish.
In addition to replacing memory and storage, it is possible to replace the motherboard, the case (different colors are offered), keyboard (different designs) and the wireless adapter. Through the expansion card slots without disassembling the case, you can connect up to 4 additional modules with USB-C, USB-A, HDMI, DisplayPort, MicroSD and a second drive to the laptop.
This feature allows the user to select the required set of ports and replace them at any time (for example, if there is not enough USB port, you can replace the HDMI module with USB). In the event of a breakdown or upgrade, you can separately purchase components such as a display (13,5″ 2256×1504), battery, touchpad, webcam, keyboard, sound card, case, fingerprint sensor board, hinges, etc. screen and speakers.
Opening the firmware will allow enthusiasts to create and install alternative firmware. The EmbeddedController firmware supports motherboards for 11th Generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors, and is responsible for performing low-level hardware operations such as processor and chipset initialization, backlight control, and indicators, keyboard and touchpad interaction, power management, and organization of the initial boot stage.
The firmware code is based on the developments of the open project chromium-ec, in which Google develops firmware for devices of the Chromebook family.
The EC firmware is what handles the low-level functionality in Framework Laptop, including power sequencing, keyboard and touchpad interface, and control of the LEDs on the system. Please note that incorrect firmware modifications could damage your motherboard or other hardware, so we recommend that you only flash modified firmware if you are willing to take that risk. We continue to invest in the development of open source firmware, with the goal of replacing other proprietary firmware that we currently come across in the future as well.
Of plans for the future work continues on creating open firmware for components that are still tied to proprietary code (for example, wireless chips).
A series of step-by-step guides for installing Linux distributions such as Fedora 35, Ubuntu 21.10, Manjaro 21.2.1, Mint, Arch, Debian, and Elementary OS are being developed based on recommendations and wishes posted by users. The recommended Linux distribution is Fedora 35, as this distribution provides full support for the Laptop Framework out of the box.
Finally If you are interested in knowing more about it, you can check the details In the following link.