Saturday, February 12, 2011

Update on dingux for the GA330

It's been way too long since the last entry. First I delayed it a bit just to have something actually substantial to write, and then then stretched it a bit longer, and well, here we are.

After coming back from China I had a list of tasks I had agreed with the ChinaChip management and engineers to get dingux up and running on the A330 in the near term. There was also the possibility of they sponsoring the development. To make a long story short, I was willing to anything between working on my spare time for free and being hired full time, and I was expecting something in between: I'm way too expensive for full time dedication (plus it's probably too soon for that) and while I'd be happy to work in my spare time, that would of course come with no commitment to any schedule or even to completion.

Since then, there's been some kind of priority rearrangement in ChinaChip and the "dingux on the A330" project as been put on hold. That means that the engineers that would do their part (mostly adapting their firmware to allow comfortable dingux installation in the internal flash) aren't available at the moment to work on it. And delivery of the required information to get a kernel port to the CC1800 running has been... well... slow. I got the most important part a couple of weeks ago. And no sponsoring. So I'll do my best but again, don't hold your breath, since as of now my job and my family allow only for a very limited amount of spare time.

The partial CC1800 programmer's manual I've got is 38 pages long. And consists of a couple of paragraphs describing each peripheral and tables of registers. Only the names of the registers and the bit fields. All in Chinese. The Texas Instruments OMAP3503 programmer's manual is +3000 pages. Go figure.

Not that I'm really complaining, since I truly believe that's what they have from the people that actually designed the CC1800. The cheese is in the BSP, which is code, which means if something is not properly done or downright broken you can't fix it, since you don't have a reference programmer's manual.

I wanted to end this post with some tech details about the A330 boot process and memory map, but I have to leave now, so it'll go in the next post.


  1. thanks for the work ... I am eagerly awaiting the outcome ... and good luck

  2. what a joke chinachip are. i really thought they'd grasped it this time, but evidently not. they dont need to employ or sponsor anybody, they just need to either;

    a) get some decent software programmers to sort out their crap for them.
    b) hand over the info needed to joe public and allow them to do the work.

    i really thought they'd got it this time, nevermind.

  3. Good luck booboo.

    I'm going to buy one when your dingux supported the device. Take your time :)

  4. Are there any complications in having more people helping with your end of the project? After all, you are rather stuck job-wise, so...

  5. Buena suerte Booboo, ojalá tengas listo el Dingux cuanto antes, pero claro, entiendo que tenés obligaciones familiares laborales que no se pueden dejar de lado. Ánimo, y a tu ritmo.

  6. i gues you have give up the x760+ ?

  7. Booboo, got an idea that you can make this port and sell it to repay your time ?

    If you make it, i'll pay for it if this work.

  8. @gsoft

    Hit a wall with the x760+, and had to sorta put it aside. Besides, given the step CC took, I though the CC1800 should have priority to keep things with CC from cooling down (x760+ is legacy for them). I will give it another try, I owe it to all the x760+ owners.


    You're being a bit too harsh. As a company, they have a LOT of open fronts and again, as any other company, limited resources. It's their money and their decission, plus they're still providing information and helping as much as they can.

    Regarding the handing out of the information, please give some credit to them. They're providing me with quite a lot of information (which yes, is somewhat low quality, but is just what they have). Some of it can't be disclosed, and some will be as soon as I've sorted it out to be of any use to others (I'll publish a linux kernel as soon as I get it booting).

  9. @c6766d76-3775-11e0-a7b6-000bcdca4d7a

    Problem is that I can't publish the schematics, CC1800 programmer's manual nor BSP (Board Support Package). I can publish any linux code (they provided a very preliminary version which needs quite a bit of work before it boots). I will publish the kernel as son as:

    1- I find a way to boot it via SD or USB.
    2- I get it to boot at least to the prompt.

    Otherwise it's of no use to anyone and pretty much impossible to achieve the above without the info I can't publish.

    Believe me, I don't like to be the bottleneck (and I'm not even remotely the best bottleneck out there, but's that's just how things have rolled out).

  10. @SittButt

    I appreciate your comment, but dingux is 99% the work of others, and I can't sell it, nor sell my 1% separately.

    Also, if I knew of a way to monetize my work, I'd make it my job and we'd all benefit from it.

    The best I can come up with as of now is to do it for fun&learning and for the joy of the appreciation of others for my work (feels incredibly good).

  11. No bother; you are not being difficult, you just got stuck behind some obstacles. (Then again, I can see why, copyrights and all.)
    - Ziggy Zigzagoon

    P.S. If you are reading this, then yes, I am c6766d76-3775-11e0-a7b6-000bcdca4d7a. I logged in with my AIM account, and that was my first time commenting here. I shall try to "sign" my comments whenever possible for ease of identification.

  12. Hola Majo, oye una pregunta, aun sigues tu trabajo con el Dingux para el GA330 (este es el Gemei A330 no?)

    Rhener Furtado
    Faro, Portugal

  13. No, hace tiempo que no trabajo en la GA330. Los de ChinaChip fueron muy majos conmigo y todo eso pero por motivos que desconozco cancelaron los planes para dingux en la GA330, tanto a nivel de apoyo al desarrollo por su parte como la esponsorización de mi trabajo, así que o lo hacía en solitario en mi tiempo libre a cambio de nada o no lo hacía. Dado que tengo facturas que pagar, me decanté por centrar mis escuerzos en proyectos con algún retorno.

    Como me consta que hay gente muy interesada, les he contactado como una docena de veces (la última hace a penas un par de semanas) pidiendo permiso para publicar la información que me dieron sobre la GA330, y no hay forma.

  14. So how far is Dingux for the GA330? The Dingoo a380 doesn't seem to have good support and the a320 seems to be impossible to get :/