[flashrom] USB 3 PCI Card support (request to add device)

Stefan Tauner stefan.tauner at student.tuwien.ac.at
Sun Feb 3 11:24:07 CET 2013

On Sat, 26 Jan 2013 16:18:48 +0100
Philipp Post <post.philipp at googlemail.com> wrote:

hello philipp

> Von: Philipp Post [mailto:Post.Philipp at googlemail.com] 
> Gesendet: Donnerstag, 24. Januar 2013 19:23
> An: 'flashrom at flashrom.org'
> Betreff: USB 3 PCI Card support (request to add device)
> Good day,
> following configuration:
> - USB 3 PCI (not PCI-Express) card with RENESAS uPD720200A(Revision 4) USB
> chip
>   and ATMEL AT25F512B (ATMEL 1138, 25F512B, SSH) rom chip in

flashrom supports the chip in the current version. but the flash
interface of the renesas chip does not give full access to the chip
anyway, so that is not needed anyway (see below).

> - IBM NetVista 8305 Desktop PC - built year 2003
> The issue with the card is that it needs a flash rom update to work with
> Windows Vista and up, otherwise the device does not work at all in these OS
> ("device cannot start"). Windows XP with Renesas drivers and Linux Ubuntu
> 11.3 out of the box works fine.
> RENESAS has a rom update for the chip and a flash update tool which however
> does not work with PCI cards, but just chips soldered to mainboards. At
> least this seems to me the reason why it does not work. Chip is recognized
> but the RENESAS tool says "Can not load / access firmware". The tool has the
> option to change the device / vendor id as well via .ini file.

stupid question... but this sounds a bit as if it could not find the
file, maybe that's the problem?
you say the tool detects the chip... which one? the uPD720200A or the

> The card used is the only PCI USB 3 card on the market and basically works
> very well when it works - with max PCI speed of course, which means approx.
> double speed of USB 2. The card exists in hardware version 1 (RENESAS chip
> uPD720200A) and 2 (RENESAS chip uPD720202). I do just have access to
> hardware version 1. The name of the manufacturer behind the card is unknown
> to me, but it could be an ADDONICS product. I do not have a technical
> drawing of the card and I fear I can not obtain one but I do have the card
> itself.

drawings won't help much anyway :) if at all we would need you to test
our code on the real hardware.

> My question: would it be possible to incorporate this card into flashrom?
> Would be great if someone could do it as I do not have the necessary skills
> to do it myself.

i had to create an account on renesas' website to get the datasheet and
a few other documents. they are quite informative in general but there
is very little detail about the SPI interface unfortunately. OTOH the
datasheet of the uPD720202 describes the SPI and firmware access in
detail and from what i have seen i would presume that it is at least
very similar to the 200A interface.

so to answer your question: yes, adding support is probably possible.
the interface is not very nice to work with, because it does not give
direct access to the SPI bus and hence it would not be a nice generic
SPI flash controller (like the intel nics are), but reading and writing
firmware should be possible to get working.

i dont think any of the regulars here will be motivated to try though
and i do not presume that you would like to hire someone to do it? :)

> In case you need further information, please let me know.

please send us the output of lspci -nnxxxvv -d 1033:0194

> […]
> Tried to read the flash rom out of the 82541PI Intel NIC without problems.
> /sys/bus/pci/devices/0000:02:0a.0  of the Intel NIC also gives access to
> "rom" which the USB 3 and the soundcard do not. I am not sure if that means
> that the rom is not accessible at all or if Ubuntu just does not know how.

i dont know for sure but i guess that's not the full rom anyway and it
is probably read-only. flashrom does not care anyway.

Kind regards/Mit freundlichen Grüßen, Stefan Tauner

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