[coreboot] Offtopic - Request for opinions...

Peter Stuge peter at stuge.se
Fri Apr 4 22:41:27 CEST 2008

On Fri, Apr 04, 2008 at 02:17:45PM -0600, Nathanael D. Noblet wrote:
> We'd hope to have something that has hardware accelerated graphics 
> capabilities (likely using DirectFB for graphics) so something that has 
> linux drivers would be a major plus.

So far the spec is standard stuff.

> We'd potentially like to use more than one monitor per device.

This is not so common however.

> We don't need many of the common parts on a regular PC or mini-ITX
> type boards, but are wondering what kind of company you would
> approach to get something like that built.

I have a few suggestions here in Sweden, but that may not help you.

> We'd like to have coreboot as the bios to help with boot times etc.
> If you were looking for something like that, where would you go?
> Most of the miniITX boards don't quite fit the need. I'm wondering
> what volumes you'd need for a custom board to reach that same
> price

10k would be my optimistic guesstimate.

> We've initially contemplated the Via boards, but have seen that
> there are more and more offerings out there. The Geode based
> systems could be fine if there was hardware assistance for the
> graphics we imagine...

I think your graphics requirements will be the dealmaker/breaker.

I don't know any integrated graphics with multiple independent
outputs. There is TV out but I guess that's not what you're after.

What kind of acceleration do you need? 2d primitives like blitting
and scaling or 3d stuff? Pixel shaders? Etc? DirectFB doesn't
do much 3d AFAIK, and they don't seem to have support for very many
of the most recent graphics chipsets.

Perhaps you could use NVIDIA+nouveau on X.

For smaller series I would try to create a solution using standard
components, some mobo and a discrete graphics card. Maybe even USB.

If you have the volume then talk to a graphics chip vendor about
modesetting without video BIOS and documentation for writing open
source drivers. Worst case they may not be able to help even if
they want to. :(


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