topic for next community update [was Community Update Wed Feb 13 2008]

Andy Green andy at
Fri Feb 15 00:02:45 CET 2008

Hash: SHA1

Somebody in the thread at some point said:
> Michael Shiloh <michael at ...> writes:
> Hi Michael
> Thanks for the update - here are some questions for the next one in a couple of
> weeks .... all just to keep the community amused til the _great day_ arrives....
> and not more important than the internal work of you and the OpenMoko team...
> 1) General information about the Neo FreeRunner graphics capabilities.  This
> follows some comments I saw by raster and others in the IRC channel that there
> were some limiting issues.     What is the comparison to Neo1973 gfx?   This may
> relate to what target market you are going after for FreeRunner.   

Well I have no experience with GTA01, but I understand it uses a shared
framebuffer architecture using the CPU's LCD controller, so it is
"unaccelerated" but you have high bandwidth to the system memory to
offset that.

The GTA02 has a new "multifunction device" chip in there called a Glamo
3362, and the LCM is driven from the LCD controller on that device now.
 This Glamo thing has a bunch of interfaces coming out of it as well
like an SD/MMC interface that is now used for the SD Card (the CPU's SD
interface is used for WLAN over SDIO).

The architecture of the Glamo chip is that is is basically a 16-bit
peripheral for the CPU with its own private 8MB memory inside.  This
memory space is shared by the various units inside the device, including
goodies like 2D acceleration, 3D acceleration, hw MP4 decoder, SD/MMC IO
and more.

Dodji has got some 2D acceleration going and xv last I heard, so this is
a decent situation, and it being on X it is going to be easy to use.

The thing that is not ideal about that chip is the 16-bit bus to the
CPU, it is the limiting factor in bandwidth to the internal memory.  You
can still shove a fair amount of data down there though, IIRC Raster was
saying it can reach 30MBytes/sec.  Another side to that issue is that
because there is a relatively large local memory in the Glamo, we can
stash pixmaps in there and bitblit them internally for free, if I
understood it.

On the U-Boot side Glamo video and SD/MMC support is ported into U-Boot
(including SDHC) and working.

> 2) What is OpenMoko's plan to release FreeRunner
> i) release when hardware and kernel are solid and before application software is
> polished.   Community helps to polish software prior to full launch to "basic
> end users"
> ii) release when both hardware and software are polished.  Will take a little
> longer but will impress journalists more...

What we need to do above all is confirm the hardware first as carefully
as we can, because if we know everything is cool there we know we can
fill in missing software jigsaw pieces later pretty much for certain.
There are only a very few dark corners left we didn't poke into yet so
this is going well.

For apps, personally (ie, this is just my opinion) I think its fine if
we target providing solid very minmal apps initially, again we can point
at the memory on the device (it is stacked with memory), the standard X
and libs provided, and its upgradability with package granularity to
convincingly (well it convinces me :-)) say more apps are coming.

- -Andy
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