Questions and Answers

Sean Moss-Pultz sean at
Sun Jan 4 03:51:35 CET 2009

On 1/3/09 Lee Grime wrote:
> I come from a hardware background, chip design mainly, but analogue
> (note the spelling  :-)  ) and DSP(MSc) are still strong points.  Done
> chip design for 15 years.  Now I do not have a great deal of time at 
> the
> moment, what with a 3 week old baby and stuff!, but if we can get a 
> few
> other like minded people together, I am sure we can produce our own 
> open
> source SoC.  And if the credit crunch kicks in properly, even more 
> time.
> I have heard all about the problems with the crappy Glamo chip.  Why 
> not
> have a small CPLD as a co-processor, into which we load a 'codec' for
> whatever we are doing at the time, say mp3 decoding, or some video
> codec.  We can get cheap and low power enough CPLD's or FPGA's these
> days to perform this job.
> Lets make this thing really open.  Could even do the GSM part open
> source.  No more problems with NDA's etc.  If you can get to 100K 
> units
> our own ASIC should become viable.


Congratulations on your new kid!

About a year ago we were in contact with a Taiwanese University / 
Government project to build a DSP for mobile devices. We got the point 
where they would make everything open, but in the end we decided not to 
move forward since the resources required to turn it into a product were 
just too great.

Now we're again struggling with closed firmwares (both the Calypso and 
the Atheros module). I would love to just make our own WiFi chip, but 
Openmoko doesn't have the volume to return our investment in such a 
technology endeavor.

Hopefully this doesn't persuade you not to try. Maybe you could pull it 
off and we could use your chip in a later product :-)

Happy New Year.


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