VIA Publishes Three Programming Guides
Written by Michael Larabel in VIA on 26 July 2008 at 03:22 PM EDT. 13 Comments
Earlier this week we shared that VIA had appointed an open-source liaison to work on providing the community with documentation and source-code for their products and work to improve VIA's image within the Linux and open-source communities. Since VIA announced their open-source strategy earlier this year, all they had provided was a simple kernel frame-buffer driver. However, VIA has now made available three programming guides that cover their PadLock, CX700, and VX800/820 products. In total these three documents amount to about 800 (PDF) pages.

PadLock is VIA's hardware-based security engine embedded into their recent x86 processors (among them are the VIA Eden, C3, and C7 processors). The VIA PadLock provides a random number generator, advanced cryptography engine, and RSA algorithm computation. The VIA PadLock programming guide appears to cover all areas of this security engine.

The VX800 chipset was VIA's first IGP (Integrated Graphics Processor) with Microsoft DirectX 9.0 support and contains a variety of other features and enhancements. The VIA VX800/VX820 documentation is 494 pages and it provides a register overview for both Northbridge and Southbridge functionality from shadow RAM controls and SATA links to power management. This documentation was last updated last month and still contains VIA's confidential watermarks, even though this documentation is distributed freely with no Non-Disclosure Agreement.

The CX700 documentation is similar to that of the VX800/820, but instead it covers VIA's single-chip system media processor designed for the mobile market. The VIA CX700 uses the UniChrome Pro graphics processor and supports other features such as Serial ATA 2.0, DDR2, etc. This register reference guide is just over 200 pages.

These three documents along with other source-code and binary drivers can be downloaded from the VIA Linux page.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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