AMD to stop working on Geodes (Carlos Nazareno)

Jordan Crouse jordan at
Sat Jan 31 23:48:02 EST 2009

Edward Cherlin wrote:

> National Semiconductor, which bought the line from Cyrix. I edited
> several of the pin- and register-level manuals for various chips for
> them more than ten years ago, and updates of my work are still online
> on the AMD Web site. OLPC has educated AMD on how to use the
> power-management registers to do things that nobody previously knew
> were possible.

AMD may have made some odd decisions over the years, but they don't 
deserve the kicking they are getting.  AMD gave OLPC unprecedented 
access to the combined software and hardware expertise for the Geode - 
AMD didn't have to be so open and OLPC didn't ask for it. The AMD 
engineers (and there were many, many more than I) worked hand in hand 
with the OLPC designers from the beginning, long before virtually 
everybody on this mailing list or in the IRC room had jumped on the 
bandwagon.  I was fortunate to be working with brilliant developers such 
as Mark and Mitch who were able to read datasheets and ask interesting 
qeustions, and they were fortunate to be able to have a nearly direct 
connection to the silicon designers that designed the part.

AMD and OLPC educated each other - and the result was arguably the most 
open processor in history on one side, and a little green machine on the 
other.  So I take exception to the idea that AMD was the bumbling fool 
in this partnership - that is an unfair characterization, and an insult 
to the AMD engineers that spent a lot of hours reviewing schematics, 
looking at USB debug traces and writing code - much of which is still 
running on the system to this day.


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