Openmoko strives for openness (smedia glamo)

Tom Cooksey thomas.cooksey at
Wed Apr 2 10:32:31 CEST 2008

On Sunday 30 March 2008 13:42:23 Harald Welte wrote:
> On Thu, Mar 27, 2008 at 07:46:52PM +0100, joerg wrote:
> > Am Do  27. März 2008 schrieb Lally Singh:
> > > On Thu, Mar 27, 2008 at 12:22 PM, Andy Green <andy at> wrote:
> > > > Somebody in the thread at some point said:
> > > >
> > > >  >> 2. Actually, is there any hope of getting 3d acceleration out of the
> > > >  >> graphics chip, or is that too bogged down with NDA-ness?  Are we stuck
> > > >  >> porting Mesa3D?
> > > >
> > > >  Chance, sure, but the NDA situation is pretty bad it turns out for the
> > > >  Glamo.
> > > 
> > > It's a shame!  Poor (Glamo) fools are shooting themselves in the foot
> > > on this one.
> > 
> > full ACK! Anyway there's hope, there were volunteers on one of the lists 
> > yesterday, who might be willing to sign a NDA.
> Please note though, that being one of the persons who drafted the
> wording on the contract between Smedia and OpenMoko: The contract
> contains explicit provisions for OpenMoko preparing a set of
> documentation for the Glamo chip, not carbon-copying from the original
> NDA'd docs, and then cooperating with Smedia to jointly release that 
> new manual.
> However, I doubt that given the current load and priority situation,
> there would be anyone doing paid work on that set of new documentation.

As one (perhaps only one?) who volunteered to start work on a DRM driver
for the glamo (the first step to 3D), I can confirm that the NDA OpenMoko
has with SMedia prevents them from releasing any docs to 3rd parties,
with or without an NDA. 

So, yes, I'm willing to sign an NDA to get the docs to write a driver. This 
was to be done in my own time and for free. As OpenMoko isn't allowed
to release the docs to me at all, even if I do sign an NDA, I have to go to
SMedia. Sadly, as Lorn has pointed out, SMedia wants $15,000 before
they will release the docs under NDA. As this was going to be a personal 
project, I have no intention of forking out $15,000 of my own money to 
write a driver.

I've been in discussion with my managers here in Trolltech to see if the
company would put up the cash and perhaps even pay me a little to do
it. Sadly we've all agreed that this would take too much time away from
my other work and there is other hardware which already have drivers I
can work with.

I just find it crazy that SMedia want to charge me $15,000 to write a
driver for their hardware - a driver which SHOULD already exist. When
you concider things like Google Android, LiMO, etc. it's pretty obvious
SMedia will need to support Linux if they are to suvive.

So, the only options for getting 3D on the neo are:

1) Someone forks out $15,000 for docs & writes a driver in their own

2) OpenMoko employs someone to write a driver using the docs they
already have.

3) O-Hand or similar writes a driver under contract from OpenMoko as 
they seem to be doing with the X driver.

4) SMedia writes a driver themselves.

5) Some poor person tries to write a driver without the docs. :-/

I guess 2 & 3 are the most likely candidates, but I think OpenMoko's
priorities are simply not 3D at the moment.



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