Project: Firewire Support

The goal of this project is to write an open source OS/2 IEEE 1394, or short Firewire, controller driver and mass storage layer. The initial version of the driver will support PCI attached Firewire controllers build around the VIA Technologies Inc. VT6306 chipset. A hard drive connected via a Firewire case will be supported by the sbp2 protocol.

People Involved in this Project
This project is a joint effort of, the OS/2 User Group Dresden and Alexandr Cherkaev. will provide the infrastructure for the software development as well as funding for the project.
The OS/2 User Group Dresden, Björn Hennig and Robert Henschel among others, will provide documentation and technical guidance for the development as well as funding. The User Group was founded in 2001 and supports OS/2 users in and around Dresden, Germany. In this project, the major goal for the User Group is learning OS/2 driver development.
Alexandr Cherkaev will be the main developer of the driver. He will create an open source, well documented Firewire driver for OS/2 and provide support for this driver. He wrote lots of commercial ATM - related and card processing code, including drivers for ATM specific hardware. Currently, he is the maintainer of the Warpdriver project and developer of TVShow, a software to use TV cards build around the bt848/849/878/879 chipset.

Features of Version 1 of the Driver
Version one of the Firewire driver will enable the usage of an external Firewire hard drive cases under OS/2. The driver will contain support for one chipset and one hard drive in a hard drive case connected to one controller. The driver will be freely available to all OS/2 and eComStation users. It will be open source under the GNU public license (GPL) and documented in English.
Basic Features of the Driver
  • the driver will support resource manager
  • used resources will be displayed during the boot process
  • the driver and the mass storage layer will be structured similar to the USB driver architecture
  • version one may not support hot plug of the hard drive case, but the driver will use an architecture that makes it possible to enable hot plug later
  • APM may not be supported in version one
Hardware Support
  • controllers build around the VIA Technologies, Inc. VT6306 chipset
    • other OHCI compatible controllers may work as well
  • PCI attached
  • sharing IRQs will be supported
  • one hard drive case connected to any one of the Firewire ports on the controller
Software Support
The driver should run on any OS/2 version of MCP, ACP or higher. It will be tested on MCP1, eCS 1.0 and eCS 1.1. It will most likely also work on Warp 4 and WarpServer for e-business, but this will not be tested. Compatibility with OS/2 version 2.1, 3.0 and WarpServer will not be tested.

Proposed Time Frame
The driver will be developed in three phases:
  1. Writing a simple test driver and test application.
  2. Creating one big driver. It will work with the controller but only implement the really needed routines and the architecture will not be final.
  3. Rewriting the driver to implement all features and use the final architecture for the driver.
It is our intention to deliver a first version before July 2004!
Update:(29. June 2004)
Due to the size of the driver, it is not possible to deliver "one big driver". We have decided to move to phase three now and skip phase two. This will delay the first release of the firewire driver.
Update:(06. February 2005)
No, the project is not dead! :-)
Since the "revolution" in the Ukraine is now over, Alexandr can also do some more work on the Firewire driver. The Firewire specific part of the sbp2 protocol is now implement, what is left is the OS/2 specific part. After this is done, a new Beta version will be released.

Thanks to
The OS/2 User Group Dresden wants to thank for its continued support for OS/2. Netlabs makes a good job in hosting Open Source projects and providing development tools for the OS/2 community. This project would not exist without Netlabs! If you want to support the Firewire driver please consider sponsoring Netlabs!

If you have questions about the Firewire driver and it's development or if you would like to fund additional features, please contact Robert Henschel of the OS/2 User Group Dresden, Germany. We do consider enhancing the driver later based on the feedback of version 1.

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