Linked by lemur2 on Tue 11th Oct 2011 14:30 UTC
KDE KDE has announced the release of Plasma Active One, which is a KDE 4.x style interface and API designed for touch devices. The Plasma Active Team states that "Plasma Active is innovative technology for an intelligent user experience. It is intended for all types of tablets, smartphones and touch computing devices such as set-top boxes, smart TVs, home automation, in-vehicle infotainment".
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RE[3]: ARM support
by Neolander on Wed 12th Oct 2011 05:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: ARM support"
Neolander
Member since:
2010-03-08

Well, to work as well as on x86, Linux on ARM would need two things : standard and well-documented hardware, and easy device reflashing.

Several major phone manufacturers are opening up their bootloaders, so we're getting there on the reflashing front. But as for standard and well-documented hardware... NVidia, TI, and Qualcomm each do their own thing in their little corner, and if it has not changed since the last time I checked, the only resource which they publicly provide to OS developers are binary Android drivers.

Probably someone will end up reverse engineering those or shoehorning them on Linux at some point, and we'll get something not very reliable and efficient like Nouveau, but for every piece of ARM hardware out there. The future of Linux on ARM, or every other alternative OS for that matter, does not look bright.

Edited 2011-10-12 05:50 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: ARM support
by saynte on Wed 12th Oct 2011 06:51 in reply to "RE[3]: ARM support"
saynte Member since:
2007-12-10

My only real point is a pragmatic one: grab the most common phone hardware, and use the Android/Linux stack as far as you can. You don't need source for the drivers if the binaries are present. It might not be the cleanest solution, but if they work...

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[5]: ARM support
by Neolander on Wed 12th Oct 2011 16:46 in reply to "RE[4]: ARM support"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

I believe Android drivers cannot be used directly on a kernel, without some kind of emulation. The two kernels are already sufficiently far away from each other to make drivers incompatible.

Seems like I had forgotten that TI do provide Linux drivers though. That's already something.

Edited 2011-10-12 16:48 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: ARM support
by Morty on Wed 12th Oct 2011 07:20 in reply to "RE[3]: ARM support"
Morty Member since:
2005-07-06

NVidia, TI, and Qualcomm each do their own thing in their little corner, and if it has not changed since the last time I checked, the only resource which they publicly provide to OS developers are binary Android drivers.

True, re-flashing and some of the hardware drivers are the issues.

The hardest issue is the lack of accelerated graphics drivers, as its the key element and no easy task to develop. As for the rest of the peripherals in the SoCs, it's far less complex is somewhat better documented and there are lots of code for similar hardware that can be adapted.

The second mayor issue is the re-flashing, the complexity and the risk of bricking are a serious roadblock for most.

As for the SoC vendors, currently the best bet is to find something with a touch screen and a TI SoC(Anyone know of such a tablet?). On such a device, the issues would mainly be about the re-flashing. Since most of the drivers already have quite mature solutions, thanks to the Beagle and Panda boards.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: ARM support
by lemur2 on Wed 12th Oct 2011 13:00 in reply to "RE[3]: ARM support"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Well, to work as well as on x86, Linux on ARM would need two things : standard and well-documented hardware, and easy device reflashing.

Several major phone manufacturers are opening up their bootloaders, so we're getting there on the reflashing front. But as for standard and well-documented hardware... NVidia, TI, and Qualcomm each do their own thing in their little corner, and if it has not changed since the last time I checked, the only resource which they publicly provide to OS developers are binary Android drivers.

Probably someone will end up reverse engineering those or shoehorning them on Linux at some point, and we'll get something not very reliable and efficient like Nouveau, but for every piece of ARM hardware out there. The future of Linux on ARM, or every other alternative OS for that matter, does not look bright.


http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=OTgzNg

Samsung Puts Out New Open-Source ARM DRM Driver

"Samsung has published the code to a new open-source DRM driver for its EXYNOS4210 System-On-a-Chip. The EXYNOS4210 has impressive 3D graphics capabilities, uses the dual-core ARM Cortex A9 processor, and is used in various smart-phones. The Samsung Galaxy S II is one of the smart-phones using the Exynos 4210 SoC. Samsung is hoping to push this DRM driver into the mainline Linux kernel."

Outside of ARM

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=OTg3MA

Texas Instruments Has New Open-Source Driver

"While Texas Instruments released an open-source driver last year for the Linux kernel within the DRM area (the TILER driver), it didn't make it into the mainline tree for the lack of open-source user-space applications/drivers that could take advantage of it, i.e. the usual ARM graphics mess. Yesterday, however, Texas Instruments released a new open-source DRM driver for their OMAP platforms."

Edited 2011-10-12 13:09 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[5]: ARM support
by lemur2 on Wed 12th Oct 2011 21:56 in reply to "RE[4]: ARM support"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Outside of ARM http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=OTg3MA Texas Instruments Has New Open-Source Driver "While Texas Instruments released an open-source driver last year for the Linux kernel within the DRM area (the TILER driver), it didn't make it into the mainline tree for the lack of open-source user-space applications/drivers that could take advantage of it, i.e. the usual ARM graphics mess. Yesterday, however, Texas Instruments released a new open-source DRM driver for their OMAP platforms."


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_Instruments_OMAP

I'm sorry about that, I got it wrong.

"Texas Instruments OMAP (Open Multimedia Application Platform) is a category of proprietary system on chips (SoCs) for portable and mobile multimedia applications developed by Texas Instruments. OMAP devices generally include a general-purpose ARM architecture processor core plus one or more specialized co-processors."

OMAP platform SoCs apparently have ARM cores.

OMAP 4 - The 4th generation OMAPs, OMAP4430, 4460 and 4470 all use dual-core ARM Cortex-A9s. All OMAP 4 comes with an IVA3 multimedia hardware accelerator with a programmable DSP that enables 1080p Full HD and multi-standard video encode/decode.

OMAP 5 - The 5th generation OMAP, OMAP 5 SoC uses a dual-core ARM Cortex-A15 CPU with two additional ARM Cortex-M4 cores to offload the A15s in less computionally intensive tasks to increase power efficiency, two PowerVR SGX544MP graphics cores and a dedicated TI 2D BitBlt graphics accelerator, a multi-pipe display sub-system and a signal processor. They respectively support 24 and 20-megapixel cameras for front and rear 3D HD video recording. The chip also supports up to 8GB of dual channel DDR3 memory, output to four HD 3D displays and 3D HDMI 1.4 video output. OMAP 5 also includes 3 USB 2.0 ports and a SATA 2.0 controller.

Wow.

Edited 2011-10-12 21:57 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2