I’ve tried to search the forum, but I could not find answers to some questions about the situation with intel ME I have.
- In this news article about purism written in 2014:
it is said that the CPU itself “usually” looks for a digitally signed firmware, which is closed-source, but
it discovered that the fusing of the CPUs can be set by the motherboard manufacturer to either look for digitally-signed firmware, or not to. And no, it’s not some dark conspiracy to fuse Intel-based laptops to always look for proprietary firmware—it’s just that no one ever asks for anything else. And, well, you’d have to be building laptops to ask for such a configuration.
So, my first question is: do I understand correctly that it is possible for purism, a laptop-producing company, to buy from Intel CPUs that do not look for digitally-signed firmware? Do I understand correctly that purism started buying such CPUs from Intel from the very beginning?
- If the answer to the first question is “yes”:
If I understand correctly, Intel ME chip is another CPU on the motherboard, which also requires firmware and which also checks for a digital signature. Is it possible for purism to buy a version of this chip (or the whole motherboard) that does not check digital signatures? Were there such tries?
The purism’s petition https://puri.sm/posts/petition-for-intel-to-release-an-me-less-cpu-design/ asks for an “ME-less design”, which can be understood differently: as a motherboard that does not have an ME chip at all. And this (to develop a new motherboard with different list of components and different circuits between them) would mean, as I can imagine, much more work for Intel than just to switch off the digital signature checking (which was already done for the CPU itself, if the answer to the first question is “yes”).
I realize that this idea might be obvious if my understanding is correct, but I could not find an answer to my questions (or to find out where my understanding is not correct).
By the way, I have found the information https://puri.sm/posts/intel-me-less-petition-goal-met-early/ that “our next step, in this long journey, is to provide the petition results to our Account Manager within Intel”. This was written in June 2016. Is anything known about any replies from the “Account Manager within Intel”?
Technical question: I’ve seen that some topics on this forum have the “intel me” tag, but I could not find how to attach one to my own topic.