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SubjectRe: [RFC] enhancing the kernel's graphics subsystem
Date
On Tuesday, May 22, 2007, Jon Smirl wrote:
> On 5/22/07, Jesse Barnes <jbarnes@virtuousgeek.org> wrote:
> > On Tuesday, May 22, 2007, Jon Smirl wrote:
> > > I've talked to an ATI engineer about VBIOS initialization. The chips
> > > may have different steppings. They flash the right VBIOS that
> > > matches the chip into the ROM on the card. Given all the various
> > > steppings this is the only sane way to initialize the hardware. I
> > > don't believe generic initialization code that can handle all of the
> > > various steppings exists for any hardware.
> >
> > I think you must have misunderstood. Last time I worked on ATI, there
> > was a single ROM image that supported several (maybe even all) of
> > their addin cards. There's nothing magical about them... But that's
> > beside the point.
>
> What about the poke the obscure value into this undocumented IO port
> class of problem where they are using the chip test interface to work
> around bugs in the silicon.
>
> He also mentioned that all of the OEMs change the standard ROM image
> before loading it onto their cards to handle how they wired things up
> and bugs in other chips.

Right, I think that's where most of the real differences are:
configuration tables. And Linux drivers will want to continue to make use
of those.

> Of course I don't have the source for the ROM so I don't know the
> accuracy of what I was told.

Yeah, it would be nice if we could get the ROM sources, would probably make
for some interesting (and maybe frightening) reading. :)

Jesse
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