National Semiconductor Geode GX1 ?

Peter Stuge stuge-linuxbios at
Sat Nov 30 09:24:00 CET 2002

On Sat, Nov 30, 2002 at 12:30:35PM +0100, Christer Weinigel wrote:
> IIRC, the VSA2 BIOS requires a few INT 15H services to work, so with
> Bochs in LinuxBIOS it should be possible to just do as you say.  The
> exact procedure is documented in some NatSemi document that I don't
> know if I have access to anymore.

I've seen references to int 15h function 4358h (VSA Init Callbacks) and the
two documents titled "VSA/BIOS Porting Guide" and "Virtual System
Architecture BIOS Porting Guide" seem to be what you're referring to.

> How about the licensing?  I think the VSA BIOS freely available from
> NatSemi if one gets the XPressROM kit from them, but what does the GPL
> say about calling a binary object?  In my mind there is no linking
> done if a GPL:ed application contains a binary blob which it
> uncompresses into memory and then jumps to an address within the blob,
> but people were quite anal retentive about GPL:ed applications using
> the Qt toolkit a few years ago, so there could be trouble.

I've seen Linux kernel drivers that contain blobs, usually some microcode
for some chip on the card, and are licensed under GPL.  The binary blob can
have a separate license however.  See e.g. the license for "tc990image" in
in the file 3c990.c.  (This is a NIC with some IPSEC helper functions.)


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