The glamo chip and its future

Mikko Rauhala mjrauhal at
Sat Jun 28 12:26:24 CEST 2008

la, 2008-06-28 kello 09:43 +0200, Michael Stather kirjoitti:
> At least this is what I read, 
> since neither read 2D or 3D acceleration is possible.

That is quite an overstatement of the problems. At least Xv and mpeg4
accelerations are possible with available software. I don't know exactly
how much accelerated support there otherwise is, but at least seems from
public statements that basic stuff like blitting/solid fills/rotation
etc is there. So please, while the Glamo is no panacea, and the
bandwidth issues are real enough, no FUD that nothing is possible with

Also, while this is purely speculative, balrog-kun (the guy responsible
for mpeg-4 acceleration) at least at some point had some ambitions on
doing basic 3d acceleration support, but that would probably require
running in QVGA mode even if that pans out. (The Glamo is not really
designed for VGA displays even if it can drive one.)

> So I wonder why this was done that way (since the older model had a much 
> larger bandwidth), and whether it's changed for the next release.

It is public information that the Glamo is off the table for GTA03 due
to it not panning out quite as well as was originally hoped.

As for why, I can only speculate. The short specs without the caveats
were attractive enough, they got permission to do a free driver, and the
Glamo provided an extra SD controller (though limited by its bus) which
was necessary with the wifi chip requiring one.

> I mean e.g. games (3D games, or emulators) are IMHO an important part of the 
> functionality of such a smartphone.

For fast-paced games you might want to use QVGA mode to alleviate the
bandwidth issues, but IMAO on such a small screen that isn't a bad deal
anyway (for fast-paced games spesifically). Something like scumm
adventure games should be fine in higher resolution, but that isn't a
promise as I don't have a GTA02 myself yet (the order _is_ in :).

Realize that the GTA03 will apparently be dumb framebuffer again, like
GTA01. While that speeds up pure blitting to the screen from the main
memory, do not expect wonders from it either.

Where future devices go, we shall see. The reality is that most high-end
embedded graphics stuff is closed as hell. What with Android and even
Nokia announcing preliminary plans for Linux phones, there are quite
enough high-profile companies doing this stuff with no regard for real
openness (witness Android FAQ and partner list, and Nokia's Maemo).

I for one would like OpenMoko to differentiate in this respect and stay
the course even with the difficulties it may pose.

Mikko Rauhala   - mjr at     - <URL:>
Transhumanist   - WTA member     - <URL:>
Singularitarian - SIAI supporter - <URL:>

More information about the community mailing list