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EOMA-PCMCIA modular computer aiming for $15 and Fr

lkcl (517947) writes | more than 2 years ago

Linux 3

lkcl writes "An initiative by a CIC company Rhombus Tech aims to provide Software (Libre) Developers with a PCMCIA-sized modular computer that could end up in mass-volume products. The Reference Design mass-volume pricing guide from the SoC manufacturer, for a device with similar capability to the raspberrypi, is around $15: 40% less than the $25 rbpi but for a device with an ARM Cortex A8 CPU 3x times faster than the 700mhz ARM11 used in the rbpi. GPL Kernel source code is available. A page for community ideas for motherboard designs has also been created. The overall goal is to bring more mass-volume products to market which Software (Libre) Developers have actually been involved in, reversing the trend of endemic GPL violations surrounding ARM-based mass-produced hardware. The Preorder pledge registration is now open (account creation required)."
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How Open a Design Will This Be? (1)

LuxuryYacht (229372) | more than 2 years ago | (#38406292)

There have been several other "open" projects that were almost open. What will be open and what parts if any will remain binary only? Are there data sheets for the ARM SOC with complete register info? Will the firmware for hardware init and Bootloader be open?

Re:How Open a Design Will This Be? (1)

lkcl (517947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38406620)

very good questions! i should add them to the FAQ, but i'll do them here, for now.

* linux kernel, u-boot etc. source code _will_ be GPL'd. we have eliminated all the GPL-violating SoC manufacturers from enquiries. these parts are the absolute minimum that we will accept as selection criteria.

* we would be delighted if SoC vendors opened up more source code.

* in the case of the allwinner A10 EOMA-PCMCIA CPU card, there's the usual MALI 400MP GPL driver plus GPL-exempt "system library" /usr/lib/ mess

* i mayy have been misunderstanding the inclusion of RALink firmware in the Reference Platform source code as being related to the Ethernet PHY IC (RTL8120CP) so i think we're good there, i misconstrued pre-included RALink WIFI firmware as being connected to that. will check tomorrow and update the FAQ on the web site.

* the GPL kernel source code covers everything, but we are under NDA in order to gain access to documentation at this stage. there is however nothing to stop us - or anyone - from developing documentation based on what's in the linux kernel source. at some point i will get brave enough to ask the SoC vendor for permission to release the docs. other than that, it's a Cortex A8, so it's pretty standard now.

* yes hardware init and bootloader info is in the docs we've received, i'll make sure that a wiki page is created which describes all that, once things get underway, ready for when the (very small!) first alpha sample run is made.

* yes firmware for odd things like DDR3 initialisation is available. it's in the kernel sources already.

hope that helps, kick me if i don't create the FAQ entries, ok?


Good Follow up (1)

bmsleight (710084) | more than 2 years ago | (#38407640)

This is a good follow up on this submission [] and these posts [] .
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