Thursday, September 10, 2009

Merged latest Ingenic patch

No big news. Ingenic released a new kernel patch, which mostly adds support for a new development board. There are though some minor changes in common parts of the assembly code in the core, so, just in case they had fixed some bug I applied the patch (their ChangeLog doesn't say anything, though).

I tested the two major standing problems (USB failure when using DMA and card corruption when using 4-bit bus mode) and they're both still there. Regarding this last issue, I recently had my card corrupted again, so there is a chance that setting the card in 1-bit bus mode only makes the bug much less likely to happen.

Some other in-no-particular-order news:
  • Fixed the network mask problem (changed from 255.0.0.0 to 255.255.255.252).
  • Rebuilt the whole toolchain and rootfs as MIPS32r1 architecture (was MIPS I). This should result in faster, smaller code. Ingenic doesn't even mention in their documentation that the CPU is MIPS, much less say which MIPS flavor it is. However, Vladimir Silyaev noticed that the Ingenic kernel default configuration is for MIPS32r1, so the toolchain should be too).
  • The guys at Qi-Hardware sent me a prototype of their Ben NanoNote device. A post on this soon. They also got a newer patch from Ingenic (kernel 2.6.27), but I'm yet to find time to examine it for fixes that might solve the USB DMA or the card corruption problems (not optimistic thought, because any important fixes should have gone out in their latest "official" 2.6.24.3 patch).
  • Some users have reported flash write failures during dual-boot installation. The original SPL restore feature works fine, though. It seems that they have bad pages in the first flash block (which is normal in NAND flash) and the flash write tool doesn't handle them properly. This should be easy to fix, but will take some time because I haven't got an A320 with bad pages.

6 comments:

  1. I often get data corruption with the latest kernel using the savestates of the scummvm. I probed two different cards and the problem persist.

    Muchas gracias por todo el trabajo que estás haciendo ;)

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  2. Thanks for changing the netmask; I just generated my own rootfs to solve the same problem. One additional hack I'd suggest: don't use something at the bottom of Net 10, because everyone starts numbering from the bottom and the chance of an address space collision is much higher. I suggest something like 10.123.231.0/255.255.255.252

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  3. The fourth fix sounds great, i have exactly that problem and why a spl restore worked but dual boot install didn't, would donations towards the purchase of a known problematic device help? I am in the position of owning one of these devices, and though i would not like to sell mine, i would love to see it dual booting dingux, maybe if those with a problematic device were willing to donate towards the cost of buying one/offer one for sale to you this could be ironed out easier. Thanks for all your work so far :)

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  4. Do recompiling our known apps with this patch would give us a speed/performance gain?

    Booboo, I am really curious about the processor's performance. If you would compare the dingoo's ingenic processor performance with the performance of other processors what the estimative you would give us? Dingoo's processor is comparable with a PII 266 mhz? ARM 7 200 mhz? what do you think about this?

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  5. @Silas

    Yes, it should result in a somewhat increase in performance. However, I'm not experienced in the MIPS architechture and cannot state how large will be the gain (my bet is that it will be BARLEY noticeable).

    Regarding comparison to other CPU, it is very difficult, since you cannot compare bare MHZ. Instruction set and caches are different, and that can make a big difference.

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  6. he, I checked out that nanonote thing, looks cool project. Im' serioulsy looking forward to hear your tought's on this gizmo.

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