[LinuxBIOS] RES: RES: Rumba target and AMD RDK THINCLIENT

Peter Stuge stuge-linuxbios at cdy.org
Fri Mar 10 20:34:48 CET 2006

On Fri, Mar 10, 2006 at 10:13:47AM -0700, Li-Ta Lo wrote:
> > Has anyone ever been able to get source to the Insyde/AMD VSA?
> From VSA docs, it seems it is possible to get the source from AMD.
> I don't know if anyone has tried to get it yet.

Not VSM sources, but VSA init sources.

Back in 2001 when I was working with the Geode SC1200 National
distributed the BLDT, BootLoader Development Toolkit, aka
XpressLOADER. It was a bunch of assembly source and some
documentation for making a minimal BIOS that would initialize the
system and provide just enough services to init also the VGA BIOS
but nothing more.

The BLDT was provided free of charge with no royalty fee required for
derived works.

The BLDT included documentation and source for VSA initialization as
well as VSM binaries.

I have posted the titles of the VSA documentation PDF files earlier
and can probably dig that out from my email archive but unfortunately
I no longer have access to the actual documents.

I seem to remember that we got the BLDT from National and not Insyde.

Insyde was only involved if we wanted to spend money on the BIOS, and
there were two options at the time: XpressROM and Insyde BIOS, the
former being a more bare-bones BIOS without a configuration menu and
the latter being the equivalent of an Award, AMI or Phoenix BIOS with
setup screen and all.

I assume the XpressLOADER was just a stripped-down version of the

> > Has anyone ever been able to work the Insyde/AMD VSA binaries into
> > LinuxBIOS?
> I have pretty much idea about how the VSA is working. Once I got the
> most basic chipset init done. I will try to integrate VSA into
> LinuxBIOS.
> One advantage we just got is AMD has committed to provide support for
> the One Laptop per Poor Child project. Probably we will get something
> not normally avaliable to the public.

Cool. Perhaps you can pull some strings and see if you can get hold
of the BLDT once again.

On Fri, Mar 10, 2006 at 01:59:28PM -0300, jardel wrote:
> Does any one know if the use of vsa binary is free of charge or if
> would be necessary pay some kind of fee to Insyde  ?

We were allowed to redistribute the VSM binaries from the BLDT
royalty-free, but I do not remember if that included stand-alone as
well as linked to our own BIOS.

On Fri, Mar 10, 2006 at 11:27:27AM -0600, Bari Ari wrote:
> jardel wrote:
> > Does any one know if the use of vsa binary is free of charge or
> > if would be necessary pay some kind of fee to Insyde  ?
> AMD routinely points you to Insyde for any BIOS bits and pieces. I
> spoke to Insyde a few years ago about getting just the VSA. They
> were never approached about this in the past and didn't know how to
> respond. That project died and I never followed up with them.

This reassures my memory of us getting the BLDT from National rather
than Insyde.

On Fri, Mar 10, 2006 at 10:16:40AM -0700, Li-Ta Lo wrote:
> If I am right at decoding the email transaction between
> AMD/OLPC/Quanta, AMD holds the copyright of the VSA binary. We
> should be able to get royality free distribution of the VSA binary
> (for the name of OLPC).

Possibly otherwise as well..

I guess the BLDT/XpressLOADER is little known since not many are
interested in writing their own BIOS software.


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