GTA02 GPS (was Re: gpsd and AGPS)

Harald Welte laforge at
Tue Sep 4 17:27:18 CEST 2007

On Tue, Sep 04, 2007 at 01:19:19AM -0700, Ken Yale wrote:

> >  I notice you mention GTA01 only - is there any significance in this?
> Unfortunately, GTA02 does not have a Broadcom GPS device inside.

Just to clarify this:  We have both GTA02 prototypes with GL/Broadcom
and with a a competing firmware-based AGPS solution.  

It is quite normal to analyze different competing options during product
development.   GPS RF performance, power consumption, per-unit cost, but
also R&D cost are aspects that need to be compared.  

But for openmoko, there is one other big aspect: The hard to
quantify but present cost of using a non-free software component in our
system.  As everyone understands, the choice of a softgps with non-free
software components on the main CPU (application processor) has quite
severe implications for a project that is otherwise entirely open

Our whole development model, build system and distribution system are
just not in any way set up to deal with non-free software.  We simply
are neither used to, nor prepared to build, maintain and distribut any
non-free software.  

In addition, the GL/Broadcom licensing terms make it impossible to use
any of the established (GPL/LGPL licenses for programs that interface
closely with the GPS chip (i.e. link to GLL, liblto or others). 

The community constantly pushes their finger into this single non-free

While GL/Broadcom's technical support has always been excellent, the
details of the proprietary software licensing and its impact on OpenMoko
itself are unfortunately far from being optimal.

But as of now, nobody can tell what will be in the final product.  Not
even I know anything for sure at this point.  We're analyzing all our options.

I'd like to use this opportunity to thank GL (and Ken, specifically) for
all their technical support so far.

- Harald Welte <laforge at>         
Software for the world's first truly open Free Software mobile phone

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