Quote from liz on December 19, 2011, 11:05
First off, I continue to feel deep snark at all the Broadcom hatred. It really wouldn't have mattered which SoC we chose from the open point of view: NOBODY makes a chip of this sort
Well I will give you *MY* perspective on this, and this is my view, its blunt, and none of that mamby pamby kumbaya PC fluff.
Your calling this a "developers" board... well to many of us that means something that obviously is different than yours, which I find hard to understand when many of the persons involved in the project are involved in the semiconductor business, and thus had to use "development boards/kits" as part of their education.
When I was in my EE course, we had to use a Motorola 68HC11 development board/kit.This was a board with processor, various interfaces for debug, interfacing, A/D, D/A, breadboard area. AND 2 FULL BOOKS of specifications on how to use it. From the processor commands, to the interfaces, to the A/D, D/A etc...
Thats what I [we] want. ..... but... what we get is NO! NDA! TOP SECRET! That doesn't work, period.
I am NOT discussing the GPU! I am talking about a data and specification sheets/books with pin outs, 1=Vcc, 2=GND, 3-16 = A0-A15, etc..
How to use the DSP(s), A/D, D/A etc. if applicable, thermal specifications etc...
NO! CAN'T HAVE THEM!
NO NO NO NO! This is all material that any educational program will need to create curriculum! Additionally this is material that those in the Ardurino/Beagle/Panda community need to do things. I learned alot from those books, more than just what was taught in the curriculm!
How do I know whats possible with this chip and thus the Raspberry Pi if I don't know its capabilities? ? Does it have a D/A, or A/D I could use to interface to things? How do I control it, access it? ? ?
This data should be on Broadcomm's, or any other chip makers site, in the publicly accessible area, period. Full stop. NO ifs, ands, buts, registration. For decades all this stuff was available via databooks that were purchased from the manufacturers, the modern age, ie: internet comes along, and its all GONE! Behind NDA BS. This is the same sort of nonsense the TIA/EIA does with standards charging hundreds of $$$ for PDF's.
You tout that x,y,z, have access to the information behind the NDA wall, so!?? ! What good does that do ME?!? I don't have access to it to determine what I might be able to do with the Raspberry Pi!
Now as for the GPU.... well... I am NOT in favor of closed binary blob. READ AGAIN.. NOT IN FAVOR. I would much rather see a fully open sourced and public code for it.... BUT so long as a 100% PUBLIC API which allows access to 100% of the features of the GPU, I can live with it... Is it my first choice, no, but I can handle it. I don't have the issues with say the nVidia OEM drivers in Linux that some factions do. I want to get the most out of my nVidia cards, and if that means the OEM Drivers, fine with me.
Yes, some have their panties in a twist over these closed blobs in Linux (see Debian and their idiotic lack of firmware etc.)... again, I would much rather see the Linux development community able to participate with the OEM versus having to reverse engineer it, which is why I don't use nouveau (crud!). I think Broadcomm could look to nVidia who is starting to see the light, starting, in re CUDA code. Yeah its still restricted to some group that meets certain criteria and still probably under NDA, but they are starting to crack!
Now, mention Broadcom to many in the Linux community, and the reaction you get will be exactly what you've experienced. Broadcom has been used as the poster child for exactly what NOT to do to enamor yourself to the community. Next there is this whole lawsuit thing with several companies from Qualcomm to SiRF to ..... But....but... yeah I know the refrain. I am not interested, I don't believe in IP, copyright, trademark, patents, trade dress. So your barking up the wrong tree with me on that.
I will say that Broadcom has made progress to be a better member of the Linux community in regards to releasing OEM drivers. They have the past of their own creation to live with, and thats a big hurdle to overcome. I will tell you that I am not completely enamored with hearing Broadcom, BUT I am willing to give them a chance to PROVE they WANT TO BE A PART OF THE COMMUNITY. No, its not going to take much to change my opinion. Something thats not helping, LACK OF FULL DATA SHEETS, PIN OUTS, DSP functions, etc... I fully believe that a little pressure from an OEM customer of Broadcom and this cheap deal on chips is over. You don't think it will happen? HA.. in this litigious world, your kidding yourself. If they feel threatened in some way they will cut this off. One little bit of whining from an OEM customer who is purchasing $$$$$$$$$$$$$$ worth of chips, versus some little charity.. Who you think will win? DING! Big corporations and $$$$.
I am very intrigued with the Raspberry Pi, for MY OWN USE and MY PROJECTS uses. I personally do not care one bit about the foundations goals, plans, or reasons for its development. If I get to benefit from this, and they use my $ to further their goals, and I get my benefits, fine so be it. The use of the Broadcom SoC, is some what of a turn off for being Broadcom, along with a couple of other issues, but may be worked around if done right by the Raspberry Pi group.
So what I [many] want is what I need to be able to do things with this device, pin outs, functions, etc.. I [we] are not asking for the masks to make the SoC, but I need to know what the capabilities are to determine what I might do with it.
So lets solve the acrimony, and lets get the data I [many] want released, and then we can all let our imaginations go wild on what we might be able to create with the Raspberry Pi devices.