Bari Ari wrote to the LinuxBIOS mailing list a couple days ago announcing FLASH-PLAICE: a programmer, logic analyzer and in-circuit flash emulator project that will speed up LinuxBIOS development considerably.

The project is based off an inexpensive Xilinx Spartan FPGA development board ($150). The idea is to use it to build a flash emulator that can plug into a motherboard flash socket if there is one, or clip onto an existing flash chip if it is soldered onto the board. It would also allow the flashing of a soldered-on chip, even if the board has been ‘bricked’.

Initially, Bari is planning to support SPI flash devices – but hopefully LPC will be supported soon, too. Most current mainboards use LPC-based PLCC chips – even though SPI-based boards are starting to appear. Bari is looking for help – particularly on the PC software side; some sort of tool will need to be written to communicate with the FLASH-PLAICE board. Do get in touch if you can lend a hand!

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