Subject: Firmware upload - generalize it?
To: None <>
From: Martin Husemann <>
List: tech-kern
Date: 05/28/2005 08:40:45
Hi folks, 

on some sparc64 graphics cards (called "afb") we need firmware uploaded to
the graphics card before the X server will run. NetBSD console itself works
without the firmware.

Now every other OS on the world uses a command called "afbinit" to upload
the "afb.ucode" file.

So what we can do now is

 1) simply add usr.sbin/afbinit (in the style of usr.sbin/grfconfig)
 2) modify X source to have the X server upload the firmware itself
 3) create a more generic framework for firmware upload

The latter sounds like a good idea, there are lots of other devices that
could use it and we probably have a dozen or so programs already in-tree
that handle firmware upload (isdnctl for example does it for active ISDN

I would like to see all X related changes pulled up to the 3.0 branch
ASAP, and since it is what all other OS do, I personally would prefer aproach
(1) for now. If we come up with something along (3) later, we'll have to 
migrate other stuff to it and can do the same with afbinit.