Subject: Re: more tested peripherals on the TS-7200
To: Simon Burge <>
From: Jesse Off <>
List: port-arm
Date: 01/09/2005 17:50:32
This would probably be beyond the capabilities of the firmware on the
TS-7200.   For Technologic Systems, most expertise lies in hardware so its
probably easier to just build a different daughter board with another
video chip.  The TS-9500 VGA part we build uses a Chips & Technology 65545
and IIRC, we actually requested at one time the sources to the BIOS
extension and were told that they (Chips & Technology) actually lost
everything but the binary years ago.

It definitely would be cute to have a x86 real-mode emulator in the
kernel, but I certainly wouldn't want to be the one to implement it.  :-)
I imagine if we really wanted this part to work, the next best thing would
be to go digging in the VGA chip datasheet and hope that enough is
documented to come up with unique initialization code.

//Jesse Off

> "Jesse Off" wrote:
>> I've been trying to get a VGA card working, but most VGA cards present a
>> x86 DOS BIOS extension to properly initialize them, which can't really
>> be executed on ARM.
> Some firmware (eg, SRM for the Alpha, CFE for sbmips) includes enough
> of an x86 emulator to run the BIOS in VGA cards.  Is this an option you
> can consider with the firmware you have in your boards?  Perhaps even
> better would be something in the NetBSD kernel that does this, and thus
> would make VGA cards usable on architectures that can't pre-initialise
> the BIOS before NetBSD starts.