[Community] Next generation OpenPhoenux devices

Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller hns at goldelico.com
Mon Mar 18 08:20:07 CET 2013


Hi,

Am 17.03.2013 um 16:45 schrieb Szymon Olewniczak:

>> So everybody dreaming about a Galaxy S4 :-?
> You are such a cynic :-> But anyway I think that next generation of

Well, my intention is to provoke comments :)

> OpenPhoenux device should run using only free software. The current GTA04 
> depends on closed drivers for PoverVR GPU, GPS and GSM. So when we(maybe not me
> currently but I mean OpenPhoenux community) have already taken an effort to create
> open hardware smartphone it should be open in all the aspects including
> drivers.

I get the impression that reality is closer to your dream than you think.

The GTA04 does not *depend* on PVR GPU to be useable in daily life. It is just that some high-end 3D gimmicks are running slow. See e.g. how Numpty Physics (from Debian) works on the 7004 with no GPU support:

	at 4:13 of http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNl9cLLkmso

GPS does not need any firmware and provides NMEA on a /dev/tty.

GSM/UMTS has an open driver ("HSO") and otherwise uses AT commands, i.e. everything free and open.

The only problematic part is the WLAN chip requiring a binary BLOB. If someone can do without WLAN, it is free and open as well. Or we need people working on reverse engineering of the BLOB. Maybe the recently opened code from Atheros [1] may give some insights how a WiFi stack works.

BTW, we still have some GTA04 boards at reduced price where the WLAN chip does not respond at all. All other features are tested to be ok.

-- hns

[1] http://wireless.kernel.org/en/users/Drivers/ar9170.fw


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