[Gta04-owner] Status GTA04 EA

Neil Jerram neil at ossau.homelinux.net
Mon Oct 3 13:53:37 CEST 2011


On Mon, 3 Oct 2011 11:36:48 +0200, Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller wrote:
>
> Running this project in addition to hardware and kernel development 
> is
> simply beyond our (and my) capabilities (timewise and background 
> knowledge).

That seems entirely reasonable, given everything else you are already 
doing!

> And, I think others could also be interested, who are not related to
> the GTA04
> project at all (e.g. Gumstix Overo, OLPC). So it needs to be run by 
> some
> different community.
>
>
>> FWIW I'd be interested in helping with this; but I couldn't lead the 
>> effort, as I have no idea where to begin.
>
> That would be great!
>
> To simplify the "where to begin", I have added some links to the
> project request
> page:
>
> 	http://projects.goldelico.com/p/gta04-main/page/FirmwareInjector/

Thanks.  I'm not sure I correctly understand the situation, based on 
those links, but here is my best guess:

                                   |
   +---------------------------+   |  +----------------------+
   |                           |   |  |                      |
   |  +-----------+            |   |  |   Linux              |
   |  | RTOS blob |            |   |  |                      |
   |  +-----------+            |   |  |  +-----------------+ |
   |                           |   |  |  | libertas driver | |
   |   Firmware code using     |   |  |  +-----------------+ |
   |      RTOS API             |   |  |                      |
   |                           |   |  |   (all open source)  |
   +---------------------------+   |  +----------------------+
         Runs on device CPU        |     Runs on main CPU


- Everything on the RHS is open source - so no problem there.

- Currently (in OLPC and GTA04 EA) everything on the LHS is provided as 
a firmware blob, provided by Marvell.

- IIUC, Marvell own the rights for the "Firmware code using RTOS API", 
and have expressed willingness in the past to make this code available.  
But they don't have rights to provide the RTOS code.

   - Therefore the task could be to write an independent RTOS 
implementation that provides the API that Marvell's firmware code uses.

   - Alternatively, I suppose the task could be to reverse-engineer (if 
legal) and reimplement the whole firmware from scratch.

- I don't see any pointers anywhere to the actual firmware code, 
though, and on the other hand there are scattered mentions of NDAs 
everywhere.  So it looks like the firmware code is only available under 
NDA.

Is that all correct?

Thanks,
       Neil



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