Omega USB project contemplatedBy Chris Williams. Published: 27th Feb 2006, 19:24:30 | Permalink | Printable
Drop project team an email if you're interestedPlans are afoot to produce a working USB system for the MicroDigital Omega. Although the StrongARM powered desktop computer features an ALi based USB chipset, no software exists at present to make any use of it. By producing a driver for the on-board electronics, Omega user Ian Karley hopes his project will enable fellow MicroDigital customers to use the Simtec stack and the various device drivers available for it.
"I have been looking into ways to improve the situation for Omega users. Unfortunately as technical documentation for the Omega is very patchy, this is looking difficult to achieve. Fortunately there is fair bit of information available about the USB interface," said Ian.
"I have found a developer willing to write a USB driver for the Omega, unfortunately this is likely to be quite expensive. The exact cost, when ready, will depend on how many people take this up and the eventual development cost."
Ian admitted that he is not expecting a large number of active Omega users to step forward and invest in the project, and this is likely to affect his ability to cover costs. There will be no timetable for a release until Ian is sure he can make ends meet on the project and that enough people are interested in it to make the endeavour practical.
He added: "My goal isn't to make any money out of this: just to get USB support enabled at a reasonable price to the end user.
"The exact specifications won't be known until development has advanced further, but it will likely be using the Simtec stack. This project is still in its very early stages and may not come to fruition; I will try to keep anyone who has shown an interest up to date on its progress."
The Castle Iyonix also employs an ALi south bridge chip to provide PCI and other interfaces. The Simtec stack provides a foundation for the Unipod and A9home. A software programming library that communicates with the ALi chipset on the Omega motherboard is in the hands of developers believed to be close to MicroDigital. The code can be used to program the USB controller, which is connected to the Omega's PCI bus.
Ian's development partner in the Omega USB support project is understood to be AdvantageSix. To register an interest in the project, users should email usb [at] iank [dot] org [dot] uk.
Ian Karley's Omega resources website - PCITV port, PCI documentation, and more
Omega motherboard in production
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