Which firmware in common laptops

Simon Josefsson simon at josefsson.org
Mon Mar 2 10:24:39 UTC 2015

Paul van der Vlis <paul-kzJ6NpsJWJiWrUy98/Atqw at public.gmane.org> writes:

> Hello,
> I try to make a list of devices in common laptops what has it's own
> firmware:

Nice list!  Analysing each firmware further could be quite interesting.

Some laptops have NFC chips in them, which sometimes requires non-free
firmware to work.

I've also heard that the power adapter and battery charger sometimes
contains firmware, for charging the battery properly.

And maybe memory card readers should be added too?

Smart-card readers probably contain firmware too.

Not strictly part of the laptop, but many laptop docking ports also have
non-free firmware in them that can be updated.


> bios
> processor ("microcode"), loaded from bios, or from OS.
> VGA option ROM, loaded from bios. Sometimes optional
> EC (embedded controller), loaded from bios
> ME (Intel Management Engine), loaded from bios
> GPU (e.g. ATI/AMD)
> wired network controller
> wifi controller
> bluetooth  (sometimes combined with wifi-controller)
> USB controller (AMD devices get USB3 firmware from bios)
> SSD/harddisk
> CD/DVD/Bluetooth reader/writer
> keyboard controller
> touchpad
> wired modem
> wireless modem, e.g. GSM
> soundchip
> firewire
> webcam
> fingerprint reader
> pc-card/express card/PCMCI slot
> wireless usb
> sata controller
> What do I forget?
> With regards,
> Paul van der Vlis.
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