LinuxLibre:ATM FORE200E

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thumb|right| ATM FORE 200E

Reference at LinuxLibre log

ATM_FORE200E - FORE Systems 200E-series
drivers/atm/fore200e.c: disabled non-Free firmware-loading machinery
drivers/atm/fore200e.c: removed blobs
Documentation/networking/fore200e.txt: removed blobs
drivers/atm/.gitignore: removed blobs
Documentation/dontdiff: removed blobs

What is the purpose of the device?

ATM Network card (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asynchronous_Transfer_Mode)

 ForeRunner PCA-200E is a 32-bit, 155 Mbps PCI-based adapter familiy
 includings boards supporting multimode (both ST and SC connector) 
 and single mode fiber as well ass UTP 5 cabling with RJ 45 connector.

 Features include:

 * support of UNI 3.0, UNI 3.1, LANE 1.0, RFC 1577 and ILMI.
 * On board 25 MHz i960 cell processor
 * Enhanced SAR Processor (ESP) ASIC
 * Special-purpose hardware for AAL5 and AAL3/4, HEC, and CRC calculations
 * Supports Available Bit Rate (ABR) with ForeThought software
 * ATM cell processing per ANSI T1S1.5/92-002R3, ITU I.361, ATM Forum UNI v3.0 specification 

source: http://www.chipweb.de/atm/index.php?menu=2&id2=34

Who needs it?

(which computer models use this device or which niche users usually buy such peripherals?)

How critical it is to get free support for it?

(Is it a very popular device that requires us to prioritize efforts?)

What is(are) the processor architecture(s) of this device?

  • on-board 25MHz i960 Intel RISC processor
 The PCA 200E cards have a good level of signalling performance because
 they have an on-board 25MHz i960 Intel RISC processor performing cell 
 processing using buffer rings in the same manner as an Ethernet controller. 

source: http://www.sfr-fresh.com/linux/misc/openss7-0.9.2.G.tar.gz:a/openss7-0.9.2.G/strss7-0.9a.8/doc/projects/cnam.html

Who is working on a free firmware implementation?

Nobody.

Links to online documentation

(i.e. datasheets, developer's guides, official or non-official specifications, etc)

Where are the non-free firmware images made available?

This section includes links to non-free firmware with the purpose of fostering the development of a fully free firmware for this device. Please, do not use these non-free firmwares if you are not developing a free replacement for it.

"The Free Software Foundation follows the rule that we cannot install any proprietary program on our computers except temporarily for the specific purpose of writing a free replacement for that very program. Aside from that, we feel there is no possible excuse for installing a proprietary program." [1]

What makes them non-free?

Source code is not available.

What else do we know about this device?

(any further info that might help the creation of free firmware for it)

Following are the features of the PCA 200E cards:

    * 155 MHz ATM, ST/SC SM/MM and RJ-45 UTP 5
    * AAL1, AAL2, AAL3 and AAL5 modes.
    * Integrated 25 MHz i960 RISC cell processor.
    * Enhance SAR Processor (ESP) ASIC
    * Special-purpose hardware for AAL5 and AAL3/4, HEC, and CRC calculations.
    * Dual-ported RAM and Buffer Ring technique similar to Ethernet Controller.
    * Serial communications emulation.
    * Supports ABR
    * ATM cell processing per ANSI T1S1.5/92-002R3, ITU I.361, ATM Form UNI v3.0, 3.1, 4.0 

Advantages

Following are the advantages of the PCA 200E cards:

    * Inexpensive (about $200 a card).
    * Supports MTP3b.
    * Can support 3GPP UMTS Iu User and Control Plane over PVCs. 

Disadvantages

Following are the disadvantages of the PCA 200E cards:

    * Does not support traditional SS7 links.
    * Requires external ATM switch or point-to-point ATM connection. 

source: http://www.sfr-fresh.com/linux/misc/openss7-0.9.2.G.tar.gz:a/openss7-0.9.2.G/strss7-0.9a.8/doc/projects/cnam.html