[Arm-netbook] Side-Topic: Liberating PocketCHIP

mike.valk at gmail.com mike.valk at gmail.com
Mon May 8 09:36:28 BST 2017

2017-05-08 3:34 GMT+02:00 <doark at mail.com>:

> I apologize for DOS'ing the list, I can only get online about once a week.
> On Thu, 4 May 2017 17:13:23 +0200
> "mike.valk at gmail.com" <mike.valk at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > 2017-05-04 9:04 GMT+02:00 John Luke Gibson <eaterjolly at gmail.com>:
> >
> > > Since it seems like a trivially simple task that for some reason no
> > > one has taken up, I would like to take the opportunity to exercise a
> > > learning experience and simultaneously benefit the community, by
> > > liberating PocketCHIP by deblobbing the source and re-compiling.
> > >
> >
> > The PocketCHIP is powered by their SoM:
> > http://linux-sunxi.org/NextThingCo_CHIP
> >
> > That is apparently a Allwinner R8 pared with an external rtl8723bs
> > Wifi/BT chip.
> >
> > The R8 is a rebranded A13.
> What? I own one of those and I'm almost certain that the CPU is an A7.
> Let's boot the PocketCHIP up...
> The processor is detected as an A7.

It should be a Cortex-A8.

The new chip GR8, which is specific SoC for NextThingCo, seems to be an "sun5i"
as well. Also a slightly modified A13 I guess.

The're seems to but mainline support for it. Icenowy Zheng has addid it I
think. But the'res no wiki page fo it.

> I'll attach the output, it would probably be interesting to see all of
> it...
> Done, it's compressed bzip2 since it's ~300KiB decompressed which is large
> for an email.

Use pastebin or sorts. Or just cut out the specifica part.

> Unless your saying that the WiFi has a built in ARM R8 (Why)? which would
> really surprise me considering how large the processor chip is compared
> with the WiFi chip.

I'm not saying that at all.The SoC is indeed  the biggest IC. And the WiFi
is on the other side of the PCB. A blue piece of PCB. next the NXP209. WiFi
chips are very small.
from https://getchip.com/pages/chip:

> You're not giving us enough details. Who is Verhaegen? What did he burn
> out on?
> When I first considered purchasing a PocketCHiP I read about the GPU
> not having 3D capabilities because of a binary blob. So, the CHIP folks
> hired (I think it was an extended goal of the kickstarter campaign), a
> kernel dev to add support to the Linux kernel for the GPU.

That did not happen. The're is no Opensource linux driver for MALI. NTC
hardly involves itself with the linux-sunxi community.

Their website is hardly obvious to the software needs of running their

How hard can it be....

"To use our hardware you have two options: Our BSP which has closed source
drivers, but you have full utilization of the hardware. Or use the mainline
kernel with some restrictions"

And state your involvement in freeing the hardware or not.

NTC website is just one big selling machine.

> I was going to
> mention this on this list before, but it's been so active...
> Sincerely,
> David
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