Sage Creates Sub-second Boot on X-ES XPedite7450 with ECC

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Sage Electronic Engineering, http://www.se-eng.com, has established a new benchmark in fast boot, with a sub-second boot to a Real-Time Operating System (RTOS) for the XPedite7450 board manufactured by Extreme Engineering Solutions, Inc. http://www.xes-inc.com.

Sage Electronic Engineering, http://www.se-eng.com, has established a new benchmark in fast boot, with a sub-second boot to a Real-Time Operating System (RTOS) for the XPedite7450 board manufactured by Extreme Engineering Solutions, Inc. http://www.xes-inc.com.

“We have fully realized instant-on capability, which did not exist before today in a high-reliability environment,” said Sage CEO Scott Hoot. “A SageBIOS™ BSP is booting a fully embedded VxWorks operating system from power on to full OS load in less than a second.”

A principal element of the SageBIOS Board Support Package solution was fully configuring four gigabytes of ECC (Error Correcting Code) DIMMs that protect against internal data corruption, said Marshall Dawson, senior member of the Sage Technical Staff. Normally the ECC DIMM configuration (setting all values to zero) would require about 160 milliseconds per GB, but Dawson wrote an algorithm that cut that configuration time by more than half.

"Sage and X-ES worked together to bring fast boot capability to multiple X-ES products, including XPedite7450,” said Matt Starzewski, principle embedded engineer at X-ES. “Coreboot® and the Intel® Firmware Support Package (Intel® FSP) offer a minimalist firmware framework that lends itself well to boot time optimization.”

Dawson said the bare-metal boot on the XPedite7450 COM Express board, which features a quad-core Intel® third-generation (Ivy Bridge) Intel® Core™ i7 processor and the Intel® QM67 chipset, was essentially created in three stages. The first stage was code reduction from the original SageBIOS BSP, based on open source coreboot, supporting Ivy Bridge processors.

The second step was inventing the new ECC configuration algorithm. The third step was fine tuning the entire system, including the code for the VxWorks® distribution employed.

“The time at the first OS instruction is 0.98 seconds, but I believe we can reduce that time significantly given certain system parameters,” Dawson said.

The SageBIOS solution also includes alternative boots, including a Linux boot, which are contained in on-board NAND Flash. The ECC solution is expected to work equally well for SageBIOS fast boot solutions with Intel's Haswell- and Broadwell-based processors.

Hoot said Sage often exceeds contract requirements, especially in regard to custom requirements. The client's contract on the XPedite7450 board required only a 2-second boot.

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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.

About X-ES
Extreme Engineering Solutions, Inc. (X-ES), a 100% U.S.A.-based company, designs and manufactures Intel® and Freescale-based single board computers, networking products, storage products, power supplies, and system-level solutions for embedded computing customers. X-ES offers cutting-edge performance and flexibility in design, plus an unparalleled level of customer support and service. For further information on X-ES products or services, please visit our website: http://www.xes-inc.com call (608) 833-1155.

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