proprietary firmware

Andy Powell andy at
Fri Feb 8 16:08:36 CET 2008

On Friday 08 February 2008 08:46, Lally Singh wrote:
> On Feb 7, 2008 8:32 PM, Wolfgang Spraul <wolfgang at> wrote:
> > He suggested we treat any chipset with proprietary firmware as a black-
> > box, a circuit. He suggested we ignore the firmware inside. If the
> > firmware is buggy and the vendor needs the ability to update the
> > firmware, we instead ask the vendor to reduce the firmware to the bare
> > minimum, so that it can be very simple and bug free, and move the rest
> > of the logic into the GPL'ed driver running on the main CPU. This way
> > we completely avoid the issue of distributing proprietary firmware
> > updates and binary firmware updaters with restrictive licensing that
> > load only cryptographically signed firmware.
> While I see the benefits here, it seems that we're sacrificing CPU
> time, power usage, and lowered utilization of other devices on the
> phone to get over a license issue -- a technical resolution to a legal
> problem.

I have to agree here.  This is a low powered (CPU) device that contains chips 
designed to perform specific tasks. Why on earth would anyone think that 
making the cpu handle those tasks be a good idea?  

Apple can manage to allow their users to update the baseband on the iPhone so 
why can't FIC on the neo?

Seriously, I want a phone that works properly more than I want one that dies 
during a call because the cpu is maxed out doing stuff that the chips in the 
same device should be doing..

Rome wasn't built in a day and you're not going to change manufacturers 
overnight either. In the meantime we have to be flexible. Mr Stallman appears 
to live in a land where every device has infinite resources - some would say 
it's called 'LaLa'


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