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Re: PCI graphics cards on Sun hardware
On Thu, 12 Feb 2009 23:50:58 +0000 (UTC)
Eduardo Horvath <eeh%NetBSD.org@localhost> wrote:
> On Thu, 12 Feb 2009, raymond.meyer%rambler.ru@localhost wrote:
> > Are there any new developments in regard to running 3rd party PCI
> > graphics cards on Sun hardware?
> > Last time I asked, I was told it didn't really work:
> > http://mail-index.netbsd.org/port-sparc64/2008/04/07/msg000306.html
> > I have an old ATI rage128 PCI card that I would like to use for running
> > X11 on Sun Ultra 10. What needs to be done to achieve this? Maybe it's
> > possible to write a small fcode "driver" that gets loaded by OpenBoot
> > firmware and sets the PCI card to be the system console?
> The problem with graphics cards is that they require custom code in the
> boot firmware to do some initial configuration to make them usable that is
> usually considered propriatary information by the card vendor. Unless you
> can get real FCode from ATI or you can get bootstrapping information from
> them you are unlikely to have much success writing a driver snippet,
> except maybe by reverse engineering it from the BIOS machine code on the
> Now OTOH ISTR some machines have some sort of on-board ATI chip, so I
> suppose it's always possible to get lucky and discover that the on-board
> FCode can properly initialize your board.
So why do they have this initialisation code requirement? Other PCI
cards just work, i.e. network and storage, what's so special about
graphics cards? Do all graphics cards depend on this code, or some do
and some don't? Is there a good way to find out which ones do?
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