Yummy new CPU/GPU combo

Tom Cooksey thomas.cooksey at trolltech.com
Wed Jun 4 19:59:35 CEST 2008

On Tuesday 03 June 2008 09:06:35 Carsten Haitzler wrote:
> the day nvidia comes with open drivers for this... we can begin to take an
> interest :)

Sorry, just how open is the current glamo driver exactly?

IMO, OpenMoko's choice of using the the glamo was a big mistake (Connecting it to a 
shared, 4-bit bus was probably the _biggest_ mistake).

OpenMoko insisted on having open source drivers, and the only hardware vendor which 
would let them do it was SMedia. So we get this massively underpowered graphics 
processor - but that's ok because OpenMoko can release the source code to the driver! 
Except SMedia wont let OpenMoko realease any technical info about the chip. So, in fact, 
the glamo driver can only be developed by people employed by OpenMoko and only after 
they sign an NDA.

The Xglamo may be open source, but it is not, nor can it ever be, a community project.

Now look at the other options OpenMoko could have gone with. Well, _the_ option of 
cource would be to have used a half-decent SoC, one with an integrated GPU such as a 
Freescale i.MX or TI OMAP, even an XScale would have been better. You'd then get a 
PowerVR GPU (same as used in the iPhone), which already has Linux drivers. What's more, 
OpenMoko would get the source code for the drivers, under NDA from Imagination 
Technologies. The only restriction would be that OpenMoko couldn't release the source. 
But that's no different to the glamo, given that only OpenMoko employees can work on it.

We would also have had a decent processor, one with a more up-to-date instruction set than
the nearly 10-year-old armv4t. So there may not have been Cortex A8s around 2 years ago
when GTA02 development began, but there were plenty of options. Why on earth did 
OpenMoko stick with an aging CPU and an almost useless GPU when there were so much
better options? And please don't say BOM, I refuse to believe the combined price of the 2442
and glamo is cheaper than e.g. an i.MX31 or OMAP2420.



PS: Very sorry for the rant, I just had such high hopes for OpenMoko and am just fustrated
with the hardware design decisions.

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