future phones that you can hack. news.

Carsten Haitzler (The Rasterman) raster at rasterman.com
Mon Nov 23 23:44:37 CET 2009

On Mon, 23 Nov 2009 20:58:02 +0000 Michael <michael at photorequest.co.uk> said:

> The main questions will be will it need a binary only video driver for  
> acceleration and are other binary only drivers needed for the other  
> hardware. If this is the case, then it does not matter how smooth the  
> graphics are, because you will eventually end up being stuck with an  
> old and crufty kernel.

here's your dose of reality. you have no choice here - in fact samsung has no
choice. talk to imgtec. they are the ones keeping their driver closed. but...
your point on crufty kernel is wrong - becaus is not opense the kernel
components of their driver are open... but, in principle you're riight because
should there be an a.out -> elf style userspace chnage or oabi -> eabi - you'll
be stufffed too.

but - as i said. this is something not even the device makers can do anything
about. right now the modern soc's almost all use an imgtec 3d unit. the only
other possible competitor was a samsung 6410 3d unit. as of the s5pc110 that
has been replaced with an imgtec sgx540. so - it's all imgtec now.

... with the exception of some hot-off-the-press cortex-a9 soc's that use the
mali-400 - an soc from ARM.... and guess what! this is not open either.
right now there is no viable 3d accel unit option in production that is open
(the old 3d unit in the s3c6410 is deprecated, so... that makes it not viable).

and before you start - and say something like "but samsung make the phones and
the soc's" you need to realise - samsung != samsung. it's a conglomerate with a
parent holder, but the samsung that makes the cpu's - its a separate company
to the samsung that makes phones, or tv's hell.. there's a samung that makes
cars. they are separate companies, and thus are treated as such. samsung uses
not just samsung soc's - they have omap, pxa, msm and others. so look at
samsung like you see motorola or nokia or others. it's not a special case where
they get to design the soc that is in their products.

your beef is with the core licensors of 3d units. that's right now mostly
imgtec (sgx, mbx etc.) and new kid on the block - arm (mali). i suggest you try
and convince them to be open. and just whining won't do it. give them good
business reasons. money talks. (also remember most of them wouldn't even pick
up the phone for small orders of maybe 10,000 or 20,000 units. these guys will
begin to listen when you talk of millions of units).

------------- Codito, ergo sum - "I code, therefore I am" --------------
The Rasterman (Carsten Haitzler)    raster at rasterman.com

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