Re: Phase 5 Statement on Linux for PowerPC

Subject: Re: Phase 5 Statement on Linux for PowerPC
From: Geert Uytterhoeven (
Date: Thu Aug 19 1999 - 04:08:26 MDT

On Thu, 19 Aug 1999, Adrian Cox wrote:
> Jeramy B Smith wrote:
> > I emailed Phase 5 ( about possibly making CHRP motherboards
> > for the purpose of running Linux for PowePC and recieved a pleasant
> > response. Phase 5 is a well known maker of PPC accelerators for Macs and
> > Amigas.
> What the IBM reference design doesn't address is actually the hardest
> part: building a complete workstation with a modern graphics system.
> There are three problems:
> 1) If you use plug-in graphics cards, you get a lot more choice with
> AGP. The IBM chipset doesn't have AGP.

New new reference design is rumoured to have AGP.

> 2) Most graphics boards require you to execute x86 BIOS code. This makes
> your boot firmware even more complicated, as it probably has to contain
> Gabriel Paubert's x86 emulator. I don't think IBM even supply any
> reference firmware, certainly not any that can execute x86 code.
> 2a) Or you need a deal with a graphics chip vendor under NDA. If you are
> not Apple, you are probably too small to keep their attention.
> 3) If you integrate a PCI graphics chipset, you're probably stuck with a
> low performance C&T or similar chipset, which will not give you
> 1600x1200/32-bit/OpenGl/etc.

Matrox MGA G200 SD? Not really low-performance.

> 3a) 2a applies to 3a.
> Most of the VME/CPCI PowerPC systems use serial consoles for this
> reason. Even MCG have stuck with supporting one or two low-performance
> graphics chip.
> If I'm too pessimistic, tell me the graphics chip vendor who's actually
> useful.

Matrox? Unfortunately the G200 is their last child that's still available in a
PCI version :-( Let's hope the AGP rumors are true.



Geert Uytterhoeven           
Wavelets, Linux/{m68k~Amiga,PPC~CHRP}
Department of Computer Science -- Katholieke Universiteit Leuven -- Belgium

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