What's the situation with DSi?


21 posts
by r00x » Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:55 am
Hi there - just wondering what the situation is with connector C5 and the DSI output functionality on the Pi?

I'm curious about firing up a few displays via the DSI connector but I've heard that it is in some way not 'activated' at present (something about binary blobs... proprietary drivers?? Does that mean we're at the mercy of Broadcom/the Foundation?).

Assuming the DSI port is active and useable on a generic installation of Raspbian I can start looking into stuffing some displays into the socket for shenanigans.

To summarise:

- Is the DSI port active?
- Is the "binary blob" available yet?
- If not does anything stop me from writing my own drivers?
- Related to above: I'm guessing there isn't documentation for the chip that would be necessary for me to implement my own DSI driver..? NDA information, I'm guessing...
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by rurwin » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:10 pm
You are guessing correctly. The drivers have to be in the GPU, because the ARM doesn't have enough power to do the job. (Maybe more of a problem with the camera link, but still.) DSI is not a very standard specification, or it only defines the lowest levels of the protocol or something. That means that every screen is different and requires different drivers.
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by r00x » Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:03 pm
Thanks for the quick response!

That's unfortunate. So there is little chance for a "universal" / widely compatible driver and we can't create our own... I suppose we don't have control over basic parameters either (like specifying resolution) for whatever driver does/will exist for DSI?

I was hoping to implement a board which broke out the DSI interface to LVDS/RGB using some of the chippery one can find floating around the net. If it will only ever support the Foundation's one or two bespoke displays though, I can't see it being worthwhile.

I've seen something similar achieved via HDMI. It's not as neat (was really hoping for a nice little strap-on PCB arrangement than dangling wires) but I suppose it will be vastly more compatible. :D
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by RaTTuS » Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:06 pm
until they release a screen then no - after the fact it may be a lot easier
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by r00x » Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:19 pm
RaTTuS wrote:until they release a screen then no - after the fact it may be a lot easier

How would their release of a screen help?

Is it because they'll then release the binary blob?

Are we assuming the binary blob will allow us to drive other displays?
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by RaTTuS » Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:25 pm
r00x wrote:
RaTTuS wrote:until they release a screen then no - after the fact it may be a lot easier

How would their release of a screen help?

Is it because they'll then release the binary blob?

Are we assuming the binary blob will allow us to drive other displays?

well yes, no [maybe] - there will be some drive stuff enabled and people may or may not be able to investigate stuff - IYKWIM
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by hillside » Thu Mar 07, 2013 7:51 pm
Is there any official statement about DSi?
Its hard for me to believe anything that is said about it; rumors began more than a year ago and seemingly nothing has happened up to now :cry:
And no, a HDMI adaptor would be useless to me because I want to have a second display when I attach the Pi to my TV...
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by toxibunny » Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:22 pm
It's on it's way, but there's other stuff higher-up on the todo list for now.
note: I may or may not know what I'm talking about...
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by jamesh » Fri Mar 08, 2013 8:00 am
hillside wrote:Is there any official statement about DSi?
Its hard for me to believe anything that is said about it; rumors began more than a year ago and seemingly nothing has happened up to now :cry:
And no, a HDMI adaptor would be useless to me because I want to have a second display when I attach the Pi to my TV...


I guess once we have finished the camera stuff we can start looking at DSi. I do hope that the driver will be somewhat generic - i.e. since DSi only requires a few parameters to set to get a display working (unlike cameras) we should be able to have a driver where you can specify the appropriate numbers, and therefore connect various displays without having to change the blob. All that would be required is a PCB to convert whatever format the display pinout uses to the one on the Raspi.
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by harryweb » Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:18 pm
I guess once we have finished the camera stuff we can start looking at DSi.

Do you have an idea about when you will start looking at DSI ?
(days, weeks, month... ?)

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by jamesh » Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:48 pm
Don't know - I'd have to talk with Eben/Gordon/Gert/Liz (pick one of 4). I'll give them a shout Monday since the camera is almost upon us.
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by mahjongg » Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:19 pm
harryweb wrote:(days, weeks, month... ?)

Call it months, that would be a much more reasonable assumption than the other choices.
the other choices you mention, are clearly born out of wishful thinking, rather than reasoning.
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by Grid » Tue May 28, 2013 12:18 pm
Any chance the Foundation overlords may share with us their DSI driver plans? Or at least plans for making an announcement? :mrgreen:

I won't lie, having the camera whetted my apetite, while it will keep me busy for the coming months it would be excellent to know the timeframe for the display.
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by ceteras » Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:50 pm
Grid wrote:Any chance the Foundation overlords may share with us their DSI driver plans? Or at least plans for making an announcement? :mrgreen:

I won't lie, having the camera whetted my apetite, while it will keep me busy for the coming months it would be excellent to know the timeframe for the display.


+1, now that the camera is selling like hot raspberry pies, please don't tell us there is something more important than the DSI...
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by jamesh » Tue Jun 04, 2013 2:02 pm
ceteras wrote:
Grid wrote:Any chance the Foundation overlords may share with us their DSI driver plans? Or at least plans for making an announcement? :mrgreen:

I won't lie, having the camera whetted my apetite, while it will keep me busy for the coming months it would be excellent to know the timeframe for the display.


+1, now that the camera is selling like hot raspberry pies, please don't tell us there is something more important than the DSI...


Day jobs? Family?
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by ceteras » Tue Jun 04, 2013 2:09 pm
I didn't mean that. I'm sorry.

You mean the people who have worked on the CSI camera interface were neglecting their day jobs and families all this time? That is very sad. Or, perhaps they are not the same people that could work on the DSI, I am very confused about this.
Perhaps we should open an Indiegogo project to fund this. Perhaps the Pi could have been 10 cents cheaper if it were without a DSI connector.
I give up, anyway, I feel like a beggar posting here, I definitely ask too much.
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by jamesh » Tue Jun 04, 2013 2:44 pm
ceteras wrote:I didn't mean that. I'm sorry.

You mean the people who have worked on the CSI camera interface were neglecting their day jobs and families all this time? That is very sad. Or, perhaps they are not the same people that could work on the DSI, I am very confused about this.
Perhaps we should open an Indiegogo project to fund this. Perhaps the Pi could have been 10 cents cheaper if it were without a DSI connector.
I give up, anyway, I feel like a beggar posting here, I definitely ask too much.


I had had a certain amount of stick from my other half when writing the camera apps, hence I've slowed down for the moment. Also, I work for Broadcom not the Foundation so cannot work on Pi stuff full time at work, and unfortunately my Raspi time is reduced at the moment. That said, the Foundation now has actual technical employees, so hopefully they will be able to spend more time on stuff like DSI (although they do have other stuff to be getting on with at the moment).

DSI will get done though - there are 1.5M boards out there with the connector on - that would, as you say, have been a waste of money ($120k??) if it never gets used.
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by solar3000 » Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:05 pm
I've been looking at that a while.

I'm also interested in the DSI display connector.
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by flatliner_uk » Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:22 am
Any update from Broadcom on this? I'm looking into making a mobile RaspPi computer with a decent touchscreen display connected via the DSI port and note that nothing seems to be happening in this area. Is interest in the Pi decreasing now, despite so many machines out there?
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by texy » Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:06 am
Hi and welcome to the forum,
there are quite a few threads with this question, this is the last from the man who knows :
viewtopic.php?f=63&t=64041&p=473416&hilit=dsi#p473416

Texy
"2.8inch TFT LCD + Touch screen" add-on boards for sale here :
http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=93&t=65566
50p goes to the Foundation ;-)
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by jamesh » Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:50 am
flatliner_uk wrote:Any update from Broadcom on this? I'm looking into making a mobile RaspPi computer with a decent touchscreen display connected via the DSI port and note that nothing seems to be happening in this area. Is interest in the Pi decreasing now, despite so many machines out there?


Why would you think interest in the Pi is decreasing? As far as I can know, it's still selling like the proverbial hot cakes. More and more developers are working on it, and the Foundation is piling cash into improving the software. Remember that the Foundation has about 10 employees, (a lot of the education side rather than technical), and cannot just produce stuff like screens out of the blue when there is so much going on.

And note that Broadcom have nothing to do with any screen the Foundation may release. The Foundation has always been a completely independent entity.
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