Firmware Development: A Guide to Specialized Systemic Knowledge

  • 4h 11m
  • Subrata Banik, Vincent Zimmer
  • Apress
  • 2022

Build your own system firmware. This book helps you understand system firmware architecture and minimalistic design, and provides a specialized knowledge of firmware development. The book includes guidance on understanding the system firmware build procedure, integrating pieces of firmware and allowing configuration, updating system firmware, creating a development infrastructure for allowing multi-party collaboration in firmware development, and gaining advanced system firmware debugging knowledge.

After reading the book you will be able to assume better control while developing your own firmware and know how to interact with native hardware while debugging. You will understand key principles for future firmware development using newer technology, and be ready for the introduction of modern safe programming languages for firmware development. Detailed system firmware development case studies using a futuristic approach cover:

  • Future scalable system firmware development models
  • Types of firmware development (system firmware, device firmware, manageability firmware)
  • Tools and their usage while creating system firmware
  • How to build infrastructure for seamless firmware development using a multi-party development model
  • Debugging methodologies used during various phases of firmware product development
  • Setting up key expectations for future firmware, including thinner firmware footprints and faster execution time, easier configuration, and increased transparent security

What You Will Learn

  • Understand the system firmware working model of the future
  • Gain knowledge to say goodbye to proprietary firmware for different types of firmware development
  • Know the different types of tools required for creating firmware source code before flashing the final image into the boot device of the embedded system
  • Develop skills to understand the failure in firmware or in the system and prepare the debugging environment to root cause the defects
  • Discern the platform minimal security requirement
  • Optimize the system firmware boot time based on the target hardware requirement
  • Comprehend the product development cycle using open source firmware development

Who This Book Is For

Embedded firmware and software engineers migrating the product development from closed source firmware to open source firmware for product adaptation needs as well as engineers working for open source firmware development. A secondary audience includes engineers working on various bootloaders such as open source firmware, UEFI, and Slim Bootloader development, as well as undergraduate and graduate students working on developing firmware skill sets.

About the Author

Subrata Banik is a Firmware Engineer with Intel Corporation and has been involved in firmware development across UEFI, coreboot for IA, and ARM platforms over the course of his career. He has experience working for all leading PC makers. Subrata is active in open source firmware development across different projects such as coreboot, EDKII, etc., and he has more than 600 patches in the open firmware community, and he is one of the top 10 open source firmware contributors. Subrata has 15 patents and is very passionate about learning new technology and sharing knowledge among enthusiast engineers. He has presented at industry events such as the Open Source Firmware Conference, Institute for Security and Technology, Intel Developer Forum, and others.

Vincent Zimmer is a Senior Principal Engineer in the Architecture, Graphics, and Software Group of the Intel corporation. He has been engaged in firmware development for over 25 years and leads the UEFI Security sub-team. Vincent has presented at industry events such as the Open Source Firmware Conference, Linux Fest Northwest, Intel Developer Forum, UEFI Plugfest, Open Compute Project Summit, BlackHat Las Vegas, BSides Seattle, Toorcon, and Cansecwest. In addition to collaborating on many white papers, Vincent has co-authored several books on firmware, papers, and over 400 issued US patents.

In this Book

  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • Spotlight on Future Firmware
  • Tools
  • Infrastructure for Building Your Own Firmware
  • System Firmware Debugging
  • Security at Its Core
  • Looking at the Future of System Firmware
  • Appendix A: The Evolution of System Programming Languages
  • Appendix B: initramfs: A Call for Type-Safe Languages
  • Glossary
  • Reference