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  1. #1
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    Device Driver for SDIO card

    Hello,

    I am looking at developing a Symbian device driver for a home-grown SD(IO) card.

    I found what appears to be great documentation for this on:

    http://developer.symbian.org/main/do...7DE27FACA.html

    *BUT*, this doc applies (exclusively?) to the upcoming open-sourced release Symbian^3 - and I obviously need to also target S60 5th and maybe even 3rd. Anybody knows if a driver developed for S^3 will also work on these platforms? Alternatively, where I can find resources for device driver development for earlier platforms?

    Thanks,
    PeterC

  2. #2
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    Re: Device Driver for SDIO card

    Driver development details were not public for the older versions, and people who may know about it, are most probably bound by NDA-s.
    You can try the paid Technical Support (Premium Services, eStore).

  3. #3
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    Re: Device Driver for SDIO card

    Note also that in most cases, if the firmware/ROM image has not been prepared for a specific installable device driver, without the manufacturer's support (a new firmware build), it won't be possible to install additional/new drivers that are not already supported by the device. And even if you get the manufacturer's support and through that a special firmware version, you'd need to do it for every device (model) you wish it to work on + get every user to use that firmware version.

  4. #4
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    Re: Device Driver for SDIO card

    Hello again,

    Thank you both for your prompt feedback! This is very valuable!

    As for the doc, I kept on searching and actually found something looking very relevant:
    http://developer.symbian.org/wiki/in...and_Extensions
    (part of the book "Symbian OS Internals: Real-time Kernel Programming")

    But what scares me now is that you are saying that in most cases if a device has "not been prepared for a specific installable device driver" it won't work! This doesn't correlate well what I read about device drivers being DLLs, dynamically installable and loadable at run-time by user applications? That is one of the key purposes of a device driver, providing user application support for newly installed HW without having to upgrade the entire platform.

    Forgive me, I am newbie to Symbian, and I may very well be naive... :-|

    Thanks,
    PeterC

  5. #5
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    Re: Device Driver for SDIO card

    Quote Originally Posted by peterchx View Post
    That is one of the key purposes of a device driver, providing user application support for newly installed HW
    Have you really seen newly installed hardware in a mobile phone?

  6. #6
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    Re: Device Driver for SDIO card

    Well, I acknowledge that a mobile phone is not a PC-platform with PCIe and USB interfaces... :-)

    Modern smart phones currently almost exclusively provide only the uSD slot for extensions... I know this is mainly used for plain storage, but it doesn't have to. And it does appear that there is a very modular driver architecture in place in Symbian facilitating "relatively easy" implementation of support for eg. a new SDIO-device? Given this, what should prevent the installation and usage of a proper driver on a Symbian phone?

    As for having seen it in real-life... Not on a Symbian phone - as I said, I am new to this platform, but not to driver development on various platforms in general ;-) However, it does appear that in the past there has been a few special microSD cards around, e.g. with WLAN before that became common inside the phones themselves

  7. #7
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    Re: Device Driver for SDIO card

    Actually there is some kind of 'boom' right now, you are the 3rd one who wants to develop drivers for custom SD cards, in the last two weeks (is yours some kind of security device too?). But it still remains true, that the details are just not public, so you either have to get them directly from Nokia, or wait for the first devices based on Symbian^3 - note that although those devices are going to be based on the platform with available documentation, installing a custom driver may still require manufacturer support.

  8. #8
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    Re: Device Driver for SDIO card

    I guess that the sheer fact that smart phones are becoming ubiquitous and they all provide uSD as their (sole) expansion port is enough to cause a large increase in interest... BTW, do you have links to other threads on this subject - I might learn something there, but I appararently couldn't find them?

    As for documentation I am becoming relatively confident by the info available for Symbian^3 - as well as maybe the other resource I referred to for earlier versions - although I won't exactly rule out that I won't have to ask for some details along the way... ;-)

    Again, I am more worried by your comment that installing a custom driver may require manufacturer support, even in Symbian^3! Unless the manufacturers take deliberate action to prevent such drivers from functioning - such as requiring special permissions/capabilities - I would expect them to work right out of the box given that the platform/OS seems to have been architected to support just this?

    Thanks,
    PeterC

  9. #9
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    Re: Device Driver for SDIO card

    The platform/OS has been designed to support installable drivers since, more or less, "day 1" (i.e., it isn't a new thing in Symbian^3 in any way). The platform/OS has also been designed so that its actual use can be governed by various policies (e.g., the device manufacturer can decide what they allow and do not allow to users or developers).

    Also, note that there is no requirement, even if the OS itself is open source software, that you could actually build your own version and install it on any manufacturer's phone (same for individual components, such as installing new or overriding preinstalled device drivers). Mainly the OS source code is useful for someone who wants to figure out how things really work, or to take advantage of less documented features/functionality, but primarily for someone who wants to create their own devices using the OS.

    And, so far, the only announced device based on Symbian^3 is the Nokia N8, and even that is not available yet (a few months off from launch, still).

  10. #10
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    Re: Device Driver for SDIO card

    Quote Originally Posted by peterchx View Post
    I guess that the sheer fact that smart phones are becoming ubiquitous and they all provide uSD as their (sole) expansion port is enough to cause a large increase in interest... BTW, do you have links to other threads on this subject - I might learn something there, but I appararently couldn't find them?
    A search for sd actually finds them. They have more or less the same content as your thread anyway...
    http://discussion.forum.nokia.com/fo...d.php?t=200020
    http://discussion.forum.nokia.com/fo...d.php?t=200571
    Again, I am more worried by your comment that installing a custom driver may require manufacturer support, even in Symbian^3! Unless the manufacturers take deliberate action to prevent such drivers from functioning - such as requiring special permissions/capabilities - I would expect them to work right out of the box given that the platform/OS seems to have been architected to support just this?
    If you need to develop an own device driver, this may apply: http://developer.symbian.org/main/do...1318159B3.html

  11. #11
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    Re: Device Driver for SDIO card

    Quote Originally Posted by wizard_hu_ View Post
    A search for sd actually finds them. They have more or less the same content as your thread anyway...
    http://discussion.forum.nokia.com/fo...d.php?t=200020
    http://discussion.forum.nokia.com/fo...d.php?t=200571
    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by wizard_hu_ View Post
    If you need to develop an own device driver, this may apply: http://developer.symbian.org/main/do...1318159B3.html
    Thanks - this is indeed a very relevant reference! Reading on, it appears that a driver will need ALL capabilities, thereby implying that I DO need some kind of approval (signing) by the platform vendors... Or, is there a chance I can get away with fewer capabilities since all I really want to do is read & write registers in my microSDIO device???

    Quote Originally Posted by petrib View Post
    Also, note that there is no requirement, even if the OS itself is open source software, that you could actually build your own version and install it on any manufacturer's phone (same for individual components, such as installing new or overriding preinstalled device drivers). Mainly the OS source code is useful for someone who wants to figure out how things really work, or to take advantage of less documented features/functionality, but primarily for someone who wants to create their own devices using the OS.
    I appreciate that open source doesn't solve all evils - and as you mention, most notably doesn't give me any guarantee what can be achieved on a specific open source platform. And I seem to realize now that just installing a device driver - an everyday task on e.g. a PC - may require more paperwork than I envisioned! Do you know if there is a simpler way to get it up & running to make proof of concept (HW & SW-wise) before having to start to talk to the big guys...?

    Thanks,
    PeterC

  12. #12
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    Re: Device Driver for SDIO card

    I do not know anything about the topic, just heard about these:
    - http://developer.symbian.org/wiki/in...rd_Quick_Start
    - http://developer.symbian.org/wiki/in..._ducks_project

  13. #13
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    Re: Device Driver for SDIO card

    Hello again,

    Thanks for all your comments. I have been poking around for a few weeks now, and I have accepted the facts you told be from the outset, that in order to be able to load my own device driver (LDD) I need all Capabilities, so I need Device Manufacturer Approval (due to AllFiles, DRM and TCB). OK, I have to get that process started.

    I also found great online documentation on how to do device driver development, including a lot of details on SDIO ([URL="http://developer.symbian.org/main/documentation/reference/s3/pdk/GUID-7D535B68-CA7F-4796-80FB-AE7A27642A88.html"]

    But where do I get the development tools required? In the documentation there are numerous references to header files (eg. sdio.h) and libs (eg. EPBUSSDIO) that doesn't come with my standard Carbide.c++ environment... ???

    NB: I am *not* looking to port the entire SDIO stack onto a new HW platform, but "simply" to develop a LDD device driver for my proprietary SDIO card on top of the already-in-place SDIO stack designed for just that. So I would expect that Carbide.c++ can be used to "just" develop a DLL/LDD which I then have to get properly signed?

    Thanks,
    PeterC

  14. #14
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    Re: Device Driver for SDIO card

    Carbide.c++ is actually an IDE, a clever text editor.
    If you miss certain parts from the SDK-s, you can try checking the Symbian^3 SDK (because that is the first one based on open source code, so it may contain more API-s than the S60 SDK-s do), the PDK (s3/pdk in the link you have posted probably refers to Symbian^3 PDK), and the source code at the end.

  15. #15
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    Re: Device Driver for SDIO card

    For Symbian 9.5 and earlier, you'd most likely need a version or another of the Symbian "DevKit", which is no longer distributed (and was not free or open source software when it was available).

    For Symbian^2 and more so for Symbian^3 you can get everything through Symbian Foundation, but it won't necessarily be that useful for you for targeting older Symbian versions.

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