Motorola Q9h

So I wrote Motorola recently to see if they would like to cooperate in my effort to port Linux and Android to the Q9h, and although a couple of engineers on the motodev site seemed enthusiastic, I still haven't heard any kind of definitive reply.

The next logical step was to disassemble a broken Motorola Q9h I found on eBay :) I'm not entirely finished this tear-down yet, because I'm still trying to pry-off a few remaining EMI shields, but its coming along smoothly.

 I'd have to say, that I'm amazed with all of the components that went into this device from various vendors. Of course, there's the TI OMAP2420, a TI power management chip, some Samsung memory, Elpida memory, a Broadcom (I'm guessing bluetooth) transceiver, several FreeScale parts that I haven't yet identified, the SiRF 5000 AGPS receiver, a few random sensors (ambient light, ...), etc.

I'll be specifically looking for a 'companion chip' sort of like the TWL4030, to see what I can get out of the USB pins. I believe that D+ / D- are not fully muxed with UART2, but they are with GPIO 107 / 108, which means I might have to write a small soft-uart driver for the Linux kernel. 

Most of the Linux-OMAP code for the 2420 device is already present upstream in the kernel (mainly written by Nokia engineers), so in terms of the Linux porting effort, it's really just a matter of configuration. There may be a couple of non-standard peripheral devices, but I'm not expecting any major difficulties.

I hope you eagerly await some photos of the internals :) I'll have to take a pause in order to get back to the library and resume studying for my wireless communication exam, but I should be done the teardown in another day or two.

Wish me luck!

Update-20091002: Teardown
Update-20091002: OpenEZX Page


Gentoo BootSplash for ARM FrameBuffers

With Gentoo now running on several mobile devices, including the OpenMoko devices, HTC Wizard, and one that I'm still unable to mention due to NDA, I thought that it would be advantageous to be able to package splashutils for ARM devices in order to make the Gentoo boot process as visually appealing as others (notably Angstrom).

One major blocker in that process was being able to (cross-)compile klibc for ARM devices. Although that has been working well for a couple of years already, klibc was unavailable for Gentoo / ARM without an arm keyword. So I had to edit the klibc ebuild considerably and make it cross-compile friendly. In the process I added a couple of useful features and bug-fixes that were already in OpenEmbedded, like wc, losetup, etc. You can see the efforts of my klibc ebuild at Gentoo's Bugzilla under bug #284957. It's currently working without any issues. Incidentally, the ebuild configures for the ARM EABI if it's applicable.

Once that was ready to go, I contacted Spock and he assured me that his splashutils would work for generic framebuffers, and not just vesa or vga style devices. Then, it was just a matter of emerge-ing splashutils, and creating a theme.

I chose to modify the natural_gentoo theme because it was relatively clean-looking and recent. There are definitely hundreds of themes to choose from though. Here are the modified version for resolutions 240x320 (silent), 240x320 (verbose), 320x240 (silent), and 320x240 (verbose). My 240x320.cfg file is available here and a feature request has been added at Gentoo's Bugzilla under bug #285088.


Note: Ned Ludd and Angelo from #gentoo-embedded had apparently done this a year ago, but I guess they hadn't submitted it to the main portage tree. I was unaware of their efforts unfortunately, and maybe could have spared myself some time if I would have known about it beforehand.