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While Google's Ara Modular Phone Is Dead, Greybus Still Appears To Have A Future

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  • While Google's Ara Modular Phone Is Dead, Greybus Still Appears To Have A Future

    Phoronix: While Google's Ara Modular Phone Is Dead, Greybus Still Appears To Have A Future

    With the Linux 4.9 staging pull request comes the addition of the Greybus subsystem. A major user of the Greybus subsystem was to be Google's Project Ara modular smartphone, but with that initiative recently being canned, it may seem like Greybus is dead but that's not actually the case...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...ost-Ara-Future

  • #2
    It's quite sad that a lot of interesting approaches died so far. First thing I remember I was really grieved for was Openmoko. A modular phone (even from big G) would have been interesting, and as it seems openlunchbox is also quite dead (modular laptop with SW as free as possible, phone etc.).
    Stop TCPA, stupid software patents and corrupt politicians!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Adarion View Post
      It's quite sad that a lot of interesting approaches died so far. First thing I remember I was really grieved for was Openmoko. A modular phone (even from big G) would have been interesting, and as it seems openlunchbox is also quite dead (modular laptop with SW as free as possible, phone etc.).
      I think all the interesting, economical, ecological, logical, modular design projects die because of Planned obsolence
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planned_obsolescence
      https://youtu.be/9GorqroigqM?t=756
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sW_7i6T_H78
      Google has forgotten his own motto "Don't be evil" a long time ago.
      All that it care now it's money.
      I think they were bribed by most of the phone manufacturers who design for the dump to give up this project.


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      • #4
        The motorola phone that he mentions is the Moto Z, the one with the moto mods?

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        • #5
          It would be interesting why USB and/or PCIe are not suitable for Smarthphones, but are for Desktop PCs.
          What does UniPro/GreyBus offer, that they don't?

          Also, it would be interesting if UniPro/GreyBus could be used for Desktop PCs as well and potentially replace at least PCIe.

          Does someone know more about it?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by VanCoding View Post
            It would be interesting why USB and/or PCIe are not suitable for Smarthphones, but are for Desktop PCs.
            What does UniPro/GreyBus offer, that they don't?

            Also, it would be interesting if UniPro/GreyBus could be used for Desktop PCs as well and potentially replace at least PCIe.

            Does someone know more about it?
            Sadly im in the dark about UniPro. However I know kernel developers have been frustrated with the way ARM hardware works with no clear and common way to determine what is connected to a processor. So maybe this helps in that regard. Right now the big problem with Linux on ARM SoC's, is that each chip needs a custom kernel. Ideally UniPro would work to fix this.

            As for PCIe and its lack of acceptance in the ARM world I don't have a handle on that either. ARM has its own chip level bus's so the needs internal to an SoC are taken care of to some extent. Why more ARM chips have embraced PCIe for external connections is a mystery. Maybe it is a licensing or royalty issue.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by wizard69 View Post

              Sadly im in the dark about UniPro. However I know kernel developers have been frustrated with the way ARM hardware works with no clear and common way to determine what is connected to a processor. So maybe this helps in that regard. Right now the big problem with Linux on ARM SoC's, is that each chip needs a custom kernel. Ideally UniPro would work to fix this.

              As for PCIe and its lack of acceptance in the ARM world I don't have a handle on that either. ARM has its own chip level bus's so the needs internal to an SoC are taken care of to some extent. Why more ARM chips have embraced PCIe for external connections is a mystery. Maybe it is a licensing or royalty issue.
              So is UniPro/GreyBus some kind of evolved multipurpose hardware/software 9P? Despite it may be used by certain hardware, is this technology useful for a general use or "just" for the embedded world?

              ARM SoCs seems to be a shame by too many different reasons. Another one of them is that too many drivers are closed source, not just the GPU but parts like the modem, FM and WiFi stuff too[3]. Are there efforts to change this too?

              Is able to use the PCI Express standard any worse than spending the money to ARM to be able to use their "IP cores"[2]?

              The lack of open and royalty free hardware connection standards in computing is a big issue too.

              [quote[PCI-SIG requires:
              - $4,000 annual membership fee to PCI-SIG Administration and the same amount for yearly renewal.
              - [url=http://pcisig.com/specifications/order-form]Pay for documentation and membership-only hardware.

              To assist Compliance Workshops you need to move to other country most of the time:

              Latest event is 24-28 October 2016 at The Westin Taipei[1], Members Only. You can see the information at the PCI Workshop 99 Invitation document.
              • Maybe optional and you can stay at a cheaper hotel, but I'm sure moving to there will be a big handicap: The "special PCI-SIG Compliance Workshop rate" for four days room at The Westin Taipei[1] costs 1,100.00USD/985.581EUR (recent conversion by XE.com) in order to stay in the same building of the 4 day workshop. You need to pay a FEE in order to get high-speed Internet connection, as it seems that expensive amount isn't enough.
              • Attendance is free to this Members Only event. Thanks for giving something "free" after paying $4,000, at least.
              • Your credit card is collected for product registration(s) and bringing your product to the event, you need to pay for both things too.
              ----
              [1] A Starwood Hotel, a worldwide luxury hotels chain in Taipei, Taiwan.
              [2] Wtf are them? FPGA-like implementations or just specifications?
              [3] I know a bit of it because of Cyanogenmod, the custom roms in the XDA community and others.[/quote]

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              • #8
                Originally posted by timofonic View Post
                So is UniPro/GreyBus some kind of evolved multipurpose hardware/software 9P? Despite it may be used by certain hardware, is this technology useful for a general use or "just" for the embedded world?
                Greybus allows the kernel to operate hardware even if the kernel has no drivers for them, as long as the device itself is using Greybus/Unipro to communicate to the outside world.

                It would require every module to be a 100% black box with its own closedsource firmware (to remove the need for drivers), but allows them to work in a modular system anyway as long as they manage to pipe standard interfaces (USB, UART, I2C, and other embedded stuff) towards linux kernel through Greybus/Unipro protocol.

                This is going to be loved by those that take opensource by the letter (i.e. as long as it is a firmware baked in hardware it is OK, when the firmware is loaded at runtime it's bad).

                some links that explain what it is and what it does https://kernel-recipes.org/en/2015/t...on-to-greybus/
                http://www.modularphonesforum.com/de...oftware-stack/

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                • #9
                  unapproved post for timofonic and others above.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Danny3 View Post
                    I think all the interesting, economical, ecological, logical, modular design projects die because of Planned obsolence
                    modular desktops didn't die, so this is paranoia. phone died because it has shitty usability

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