Community Updates

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Even though OpenMoko strives to keep the community informed of the development progress, OpenMoko does not provide delivery dates. Instead, OpenMoko reports the project status here and on the openmoko-community mailing list.

The status is usually updated at least twice a month, usually by Michael Shiloh. Updates are also mailed to the community mailing list (see below for previous updates), and major updates are also sent to the announce list.

You are invited to add questions or topics you think should be included in the Community Updates.

The latest Community Update was posted to the community mailing list on January 10.

Discussion of current issues

GTA01 Advanced Kit price reduction

12/20/2007 - We have dropped the price of the GTA01 Advanced Kit from $450 to $399. I'm pretty sure that's effective immediately and should be reflected at our web store right now.

The price of Base Kit remains the same.

GTA02 hardware design and test

The information below has been collected from various sources, feel free to add questions and comments here.

While writing a device driver for the new battery which provides an accurate counter of the charge state of the GTA02, the driver developer discovered that the device driver does not get a reading of the charge state due to a very long response time with only one I/O signal when trying to read the charge state. To be able to read the battery status properly, it has been written that it will be necessary to re-design that part of the GTA02 for hardware version GTA02A5 to use two I/O signals to reduce the response time (one for transmitting commands, one for receiving data?). Bug 957 may have more information.

12/06/2007 - GTA02a5 is a minor variation from GTA02a4, so it shouldn't take very long. We are waiting for confirmation of Wifi and a few other parts of the GTA02a4 hardware before we manufacture even a small test run of GTA02a5.

gllin GPS driver for GTA01

11/29/2007 - Thanks to a tremendous amount of hard work by many people, we have ready a release of gllin, the GPS driver. Instructions at [1] or grab the ipk directly from [2].

850 MHz band not supported in USA+Canada (e.g. comment 24 on bug #256)

The GSM chip set is capable of quad band operation but the circuit implemented in GTA02 only supports 3 bands. Currently GTA02 supports only 900/1800/1900MHz.

11/29/2007 - We would like to offer an 850/1800/1900MHz version of GTA02 for areas that need it. We are looking into whether this is feasible or not. This requires a number of changes (components, firwmare, calibration, etc.) and so is uncertain until we test it.

12/09/2007 - Since the GSM section is essentially the same between GTA01 and GTA02, we thought a good experiment would be to modify a couple GTA01 handsets for 850MHz and to test them out here in the USA.

12/20/2007 - Due to the enthusiastic response I received to my request for testing volunteers I've asked our hardware group to modify a few more phones. I don't know when, or even if, they will be able to do this. Meanwhile, I'll be sending out the units I have to the testers, along with a simple test plan.

We have no intention of manufacturing 850MHz GTA01s, nor can we modify user's phones this way. We modified a couple of units ONLY so that we could test the circuit that we might use in GTA02. When the experiment is done, these modified units must be returned to OpenMoko.

Conversion of GTA02 to quad band would require major changes and so will not happen.

Delivery of a GSM firmware update for the 3G SIM bug (#666)

Background:

A bug in the GSM firmware prevents some USA 3G SIM cards from working properly. The bug has been fixed, but since the GSM module is under extremely tight legal protection, it is not clear whether or how we can allow customers to perform this upgrade themselves.

12/09/2007 - We've been informed that everything legal has been agreed upon by all parties regarding the process that would allow you to upgrade your own GSM firmware. All that remains is to get everything signed. Apparently the process of getting things signed takes a few weeks!

12/20/2007 - Meanwhile, we have resolved the difficulties I was having performing the upgrade, and I am now able to upgrade your handsets. Anyone interested in having me do this should contact me at michael@openmoko.org.

Questions or Topics you think are missing

SMedia 3362 Documentation & OpenGL ES Drivers

There is an open source kdrive driver being written for the GTA02 which will use hardware to accelerate the XRender extension. While the chip is capable of 3D graphics, no OpenGL ES driver/library is avaliable and OpenMoko developers will not be writing one in the near future (although they have not ruled it out in the long-term).

Documentation for the SMedia 3362 has been promised (see this post). However, this refers to documentation OpenMoko developers will be writing themselves, not the technical documentation SMedia have provided OpenMoko with. The OpenMoko developers had to sign an NDA with SMedia to obtain this documentation and are therefore unable to pass this information on to community developers. (See this post for details)

Power Management on the Neo1973

It is still not clear if it will be possible to have "reasonable" battery life on the Neo1973 (GTA1) hardware or if there are hardware problems that make this impossible.(see this post). Can this be officially clarified.

A couple of things I have noticed via the various mailing lists - no inside info at all - JW

Written by JW 28 jan 08 - not official Michael Shilloh update! - will go out of date soon!

Think of it as the Openmoko weather forecast :-)

  1. Feel free to change this michael/others
  2. The kernel guys seem to have been quite pleased about the ease of merging Openmoko with its new parent which is the brand new Linux kernel 2.6.24 which was only released formally by Linus this week. This was done first for GTA02 and then when it looked OK for GTA01 as well. This brings some good things of which a new wireless stack for the former (improved wireless performance) and tickless kernel for both GTA01 and GTA02 are the most important probably (many power saving features can be enabled by using this in due course). Boot from SD card may have been broken for GTA01 during this change (used by people to dual boot from Qtopia and Openmoko on the same phone for ex) but will be brought back for both machines in due course (not top priority). Suspend/resume which was working for GTA01 (?) has been broken (possibly) by this change.
  3. Several (non openmoko) people report that the daily image from 27 Jan 08 is quite stable for use on GTA01 and that with it you can both SMS and make and receive voice calls with good stability although (understandably) tweaks to the UI are far from complete. However, SeanC reported that under pressure testing of the GSM daemon (ie cycling it through hundreds of commands) there are still failures so some way to go yet until the GSM side is sorted.
  4. Kernel developers are deciding on bootloader and filesystem options in the next few days. These issues are crucial to bringing the boot time down from 2 minutes to 30 secs (design target). As always there are compromises to be made.
  5. GPS for GTA02 - this uses a different chipset from the GTA01 so needs some work - not sure what stage this is at but they will need to be able to test this before ordering a production run of GTA02
  6. Wifi driver is being developed just now and again is a priority task (presumably on the back of the new 2.6.24 stack)
  7. Power management is a lower priority than all of the above for obvious reasons. However, I suspect suspend/resume will get some attention before GTA02 ships
  8. External developers contributing patches. There have been at least 5 patches submitted by external developers to the kernel team (make a bug report and then cc to the kernel mailing list) in recent days - much appreciated by the openmoko team. They are all in Andy Green's testing branch and will be merged soon.
  9. Timing for GTA02 - pure speculation on my part but there seems still a lot to do for March! There is some mention in some (unguarded emails) of a 1 Feb decision date - I guess this the date they HAVE to decide if the current hardware is OK or they have to make another revision.
  10. If you want an easy way to browse / keep up with how the project developers are getting on without subscribing to all the lists i recommend gmane e.g for the kernel list - http://news.gmane.org/gmane.comp.handhelds.openmoko.kernel you can find the full list here http://dir.gmane.org/index.php?prefix=gmane.comp.handhelds.openmoko

Previous Community Updates

Personal tools

Contents

Even though OpenMoko strives to keep the community informed of the development progress, OpenMoko does not provide delivery dates. Instead, OpenMoko reports the project status here and on the openmoko-community mailing list.

The status is usually updated at least twice a month, usually by Michael Shiloh. Updates are also mailed to the community mailing list (see below for previous updates), and major updates are also sent to the announce list.

You are invited to add questions or topics you think should be included in the Community Updates.

The latest Community Update was posted to the community mailing list on January 10.

Discussion of current issues

GTA01 Advanced Kit price reduction

12/20/2007 - We have dropped the price of the GTA01 Advanced Kit from $450 to $399. I'm pretty sure that's effective immediately and should be reflected at our web store right now.

The price of Base Kit remains the same.

GTA02 hardware design and test

The information below has been collected from various sources, feel free to add questions and comments here.

While writing a device driver for the new battery which provides an accurate counter of the charge state of the GTA02, the driver developer discovered that the device driver does not get a reading of the charge state due to a very long response time with only one I/O signal when trying to read the charge state. To be able to read the battery status properly, it has been written that it will be necessary to re-design that part of the GTA02 for hardware version GTA02A5 to use two I/O signals to reduce the response time (one for transmitting commands, one for receiving data?). Bug 957 may have more information.

12/06/2007 - GTA02a5 is a minor variation from GTA02a4, so it shouldn't take very long. We are waiting for confirmation of Wifi and a few other parts of the GTA02a4 hardware before we manufacture even a small test run of GTA02a5.

gllin GPS driver for GTA01

11/29/2007 - Thanks to a tremendous amount of hard work by many people, we have ready a release of gllin, the GPS driver. Instructions at [1] or grab the ipk directly from [2].

850 MHz band not supported in USA+Canada (e.g. comment 24 on bug #256)

The GSM chip set is capable of quad band operation but the circuit implemented in GTA02 only supports 3 bands. Currently GTA02 supports only 900/1800/1900MHz.

11/29/2007 - We would like to offer an 850/1800/1900MHz version of GTA02 for areas that need it. We are looking into whether this is feasible or not. This requires a number of changes (components, firwmare, calibration, etc.) and so is uncertain until we test it.

12/09/2007 - Since the GSM section is essentially the same between GTA01 and GTA02, we thought a good experiment would be to modify a couple GTA01 handsets for 850MHz and to test them out here in the USA.

12/20/2007 - Due to the enthusiastic response I received to my request for testing volunteers I've asked our hardware group to modify a few more phones. I don't know when, or even if, they will be able to do this. Meanwhile, I'll be sending out the units I have to the testers, along with a simple test plan.

We have no intention of manufacturing 850MHz GTA01s, nor can we modify user's phones this way. We modified a couple of units ONLY so that we could test the circuit that we might use in GTA02. When the experiment is done, these modified units must be returned to OpenMoko.

Conversion of GTA02 to quad band would require major changes and so will not happen.

Delivery of a GSM firmware update for the 3G SIM bug (#666)

Background:

A bug in the GSM firmware prevents some USA 3G SIM cards from working properly. The bug has been fixed, but since the GSM module is under extremely tight legal protection, it is not clear whether or how we can allow customers to perform this upgrade themselves.

12/09/2007 - We've been informed that everything legal has been agreed upon by all parties regarding the process that would allow you to upgrade your own GSM firmware. All that remains is to get everything signed. Apparently the process of getting things signed takes a few weeks!

12/20/2007 - Meanwhile, we have resolved the difficulties I was having performing the upgrade, and I am now able to upgrade your handsets. Anyone interested in having me do this should contact me at michael@openmoko.org.

Questions or Topics you think are missing

SMedia 3362 Documentation & OpenGL ES Drivers

There is an open source kdrive driver being written for the GTA02 which will use hardware to accelerate the XRender extension. While the chip is capable of 3D graphics, no OpenGL ES driver/library is avaliable and OpenMoko developers will not be writing one in the near future (although they have not ruled it out in the long-term).

Documentation for the SMedia 3362 has been promised (see this post). However, this refers to documentation OpenMoko developers will be writing themselves, not the technical documentation SMedia have provided OpenMoko with. The OpenMoko developers had to sign an NDA with SMedia to obtain this documentation and are therefore unable to pass this information on to community developers. (See this post for details)

Power Management on the Neo1973

It is still not clear if it will be possible to have "reasonable" battery life on the Neo1973 (GTA1) hardware or if there are hardware problems that make this impossible.(see this post). Can this be officially clarified.

A couple of things I have noticed via the various mailing lists - no inside info at all - JW

Written by JW 28 jan 08 - not official Michael Shilloh update! - will go out of date soon!

Think of it as the Openmoko weather forecast :-)

  1. Feel free to change this michael/others
  2. The kernel guys seem to have been quite pleased about the ease of merging Openmoko with its new parent which is the brand new Linux kernel 2.6.24 which was only released formally by Linus this week. This was done first for GTA02 and then when it looked OK for GTA01 as well. This brings some good things of which a new wireless stack for the former (improved wireless performance) and tickless kernel for both GTA01 and GTA02 are the most important probably (many power saving features can be enabled by using this in due course). Boot from SD card may have been broken for GTA01 during this change (used by people to dual boot from Qtopia and Openmoko on the same phone for ex) but will be brought back for both machines in due course (not top priority). Suspend/resume which was working for GTA01 (?) has been broken (possibly) by this change.
  3. Several (non openmoko) people report that the daily image from 27 Jan 08 is quite stable for use on GTA01 and that with it you can both SMS and make and receive voice calls with good stability although (understandably) tweaks to the UI are far from complete. However, SeanC reported that under pressure testing of the GSM daemon (ie cycling it through hundreds of commands) there are still failures so some way to go yet until the GSM side is sorted.
  4. Kernel developers are deciding on bootloader and filesystem options in the next few days. These issues are crucial to bringing the boot time down from 2 minutes to 30 secs (design target). As always there are compromises to be made.
  5. GPS for GTA02 - this uses a different chipset from the GTA01 so needs some work - not sure what stage this is at but they will need to be able to test this before ordering a production run of GTA02
  6. Wifi driver is being developed just now and again is a priority task (presumably on the back of the new 2.6.24 stack)
  7. Power management is a lower priority than all of the above for obvious reasons. However, I suspect suspend/resume will get some attention before GTA02 ships
  8. External developers contributing patches. There have been at least 5 patches submitted by external developers to the kernel team (make a bug report and then cc to the kernel mailing list) in recent days - much appreciated by the openmoko team. They are all in Andy Green's testing branch and will be merged soon.
  9. Timing for GTA02 - pure speculation on my part but there seems still a lot to do for March! There is some mention in some (unguarded emails) of a 1 Feb decision date - I guess this the date they HAVE to decide if the current hardware is OK or they have to make another revision.
  10. If you want an easy way to browse / keep up with how the project developers are getting on without subscribing to all the lists i recommend gmane e.g for the kernel list - http://news.gmane.org/gmane.comp.handhelds.openmoko.kernel you can find the full list here http://dir.gmane.org/index.php?prefix=gmane.comp.handhelds.openmoko

Previous Community Updates