[U-Boot-Users] IXP425 ethernet & NPE microcode

Stefan Roese sr at denx.de
Thu May 10 07:16:50 CEST 2007

On Thursday 10 May 2007, Jonathan Pratt wrote:
> I was not aware of the project. They merely point out that it's a
> necessary evil. The Intel redistribution restrictions seem rather
> draconian, however.
> I'm not sure about the conflict with u-boot (GPL), however, and whether
> the issues are more than philosophical.

You can include the NPE binary into U-Boot as you did, but this violates the 
GPL and therefore you are not allowed to ship products using this resulting 

The best solution for this problem right now, if to not included the NPE 
binary in the U-Boot build process, but program it into a separate FLASH 
sector, and let the NPE ethernet driver load the NPE's with the binary from 
this location. This way we don't have link the NPE binary into the U-Boot 
image. Unfortunately nobody found the time to implement this solution till 

And furthermore, it would be very desireable to drop the current NPE U-Boot 
ethernet driver implementation based on the original Intel code with the 
complex and ugly Intel access library completely, and re-implement the driver 
based on the new Linux IXP4xx NPE ethernet drivers. There are currently 2 
completely new drivers without the Intel access library which will result in 
lower memory footprint and much less and cleaner code.

Patches welcome! :-)

Best regards,

DENX Software Engineering GmbH, HRB 165235 Munich, CEO: Wolfgang Denk
Office:  Kirchenstr. 5,       D-82194 Groebenzell,            Germany

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