[OpenWrt-Devel] lantiq vdsl2
daniel at makrotopia.org
Thu Oct 30 07:58:19 EDT 2014
thanks for the straight answers.
Interpreting what you just wrote and what I already see from a technical
point of view, I get the following picture:
The VDSL firmware blob needs to match the driver as Lantiq apparently
got several variants depending on who is using it downstream.
Probably there are different firmware APIs for different OS (?) or driver
This is why the dsl_fw flashed e.g. on TL-W8970 cannot be used with the
driver we got in OpenWrt, right?
In addition to the API-style, maybe different blobs also perform different
Fortunately the blob is aparently not board-specific and works on every
VRX2xx hardware/board (?), so the blob from a T-Com or BT device can be
used on a TP-LINK device.
Did they seriously try to limit/mask hardware features in software?
i.e. sell the same chip to some customers as ADSL2+ and have other
customers pay extra for a VDSL2 "license"?
I'll have the hexdump or base64 of that firmware blob printed on a shirt
then ;) or maybe a huge QR-code would also be nice.
Clearly, licensing IP to industry customers (who also pay G.729 patent
royalties and so on) is one thing, but trying to enforce things all the way
down to consumer markets reminds me of ISDN CAPI stuff in the 90s, just
that back then there was no content-addressable globally distributed
storage such as BitTorrent...
But that's just worst-case speculations. Maybe things are not that bad.
This mess we face could also be the result of wild forks of the dsl driver
by integrators (?).
Or maybe Lantiq themselves are not allowed to unconditionally redistribute
this blob as it contains something they licensed from a 3rd party (I'm
aware nobody will ever publicly confirm or deny that)
Or this blob is not that hardware specific, maybe it's just some MIPS
binary they run on the 2nd core of the SoC using MIPS DSP instructions for
(de-)modulation, filtering, ... (I couldn't find a DSP block in the VRX
chip databrief, back on AR7 these things were done using TMS320C55x DSPs)
If that's really the case I'd bet my ass that mtk already had a chance to
look at it 5 years ago. It's just impossible to keep that kinda things
secret once the hardware is publicly available.
Anyway, I can just guess...
If this is for technical reasons (driver forks; different fw apis on
VxWorks/Linux/IFXOS/...), I supposed Lantiq folks should happily help
cleaning the mess (doesn't exactly look like that).
Whatever the reason is, I can see that it creates lots of extra headache
for both, Lantiq and their clients.
Back to the practical side of the story, now that I got things working and
found my way through the jungle, let's reduce pain of future users (from
unboxing to show-time I spent about 20 hours figuring things out):
There are many variants of that blob (a probably incomplete list can be
found in "ECI Arcadyan VDSL vg3503j-gpl-open-source.tgz")
(plus the two files they ship in the tarball:)
All of the above probably target BT's xDSL in the UK, i.e. annex A(/J).
btw: anyone knows the version(s) noted in above scheme of the blob found
in the T-Com Speedport firmware versions? What about VRX-based AVM devices?
I reckon it'd be nice to at least list one of the checksums of an
ADSL2+ annex A firmware in vdsl_fw_install.sh as currently, only annex B
dsl_fw can be extracted using the fw-cutter.
Imho the best would be to recognize if whatever stored in dsl_fw on mtd
is useful for us or not and allow installing any known firmware (referenced
by version and checksum) into the OpenWrt-style dsl_fw art via
vdsl_fw_install.sh, so once stored there users never have to go through
that mess again and OpenWrt also won't have to redistribute the blob.
Redistributing a list of version+flags+size+checksum(+download-script)
should be ok, right?
On Wed, Oct 29, 2014 at 06:21:13PM +0100, John Crispin wrote:
> Hi Daniel,
> i get asked this question regularly. the answer is somewhat complicated
> as wonky licenses are involved.
> here are the plain facts, interpret them yourself please.
> * you are the 4th person to ask this month.
> * the fw blob has a license that prevents us from redistributing it.
> * if i tell people where to get the blob from then i give advise on how
> to break the license (and i don't want to be held accountable)
> * lantiq was very foss friendly between 2009 and 2012. currently there
> is a cold breeze.
> * we have reported this problem to them over years, repeatedly
> * we have been told for years that they are working on a solution
> * we are still waiting
> On 29/10/2014 16:57, John Crispin wrote:
> >> I understood that the vendor is using openwrt as their SDK and claims to be
> >> friendly with us. So how come there no usable fw in owrt and things are
> >> rather chaotic?
> > i hate this question and wish people would stop asking me on a regular
> > basis. before i start a huge rant i will take a couple of hours to think
> > of a politically correct reply.
> > _______________________________________________
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