Re: Ethernet driver for NatSemi dp83815

From: Ian S. Nelson (
Date: Tue Aug 01 2000 - 10:40:46 EST

Donald Becker wrote:

> On Tue, 1 Aug 2000, Ian S. Nelson wrote:
> > I don't know who exactly TeamF1 is but my NSC sales rep says that when they
> > produced the MacPhyter chipset (the 83815) they hired some guys out of Seattle to
> > cons up an ethernet driver because a number of people building web pads and other
> > embedded products with Linux wanted one. As far as I can tell NSC isn't working
> > with TeamF1 anymore, it was a quick fix to make a sale or two and when I last
> > asked they were trying to put together a Linux support team so they could support
> > the driver in-house. I don't think they are terribly motivated to act on it,
> > it's sales people who keep giving me that line.
> How times have changed. In May '99 the NatSemi people wouldn't give me the
> time of day. They had no interest in a unknown OS like Linux. They
> preferred to support important OSes with long-term prospects such as SCO and
> LynxOS.

Slowly but surely. We're doing a deal with NSC and from the start it was Linux
drivers or no deal so they've been slowly turning the gears. They make a decent
(okay, it's a piece of trash but it's dirt cheap) low-cost integrated chipset that
works fine for small low-power devices. Echostar (my employer) and at least a few
others have been trying to get them to do Linux.

They even hired Mark Lord to do an IDE DMA driver for them earlier this year.

The big problem with them is that they are a hydra. There are way too many heads
talking to different people cutting different deals and there isn't a central brain
controlling the show. They certainly have Linux demand they just need to consolidate
it all together to see the need for them to do something on the corporate level to
support it.


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