Samsung promises to open up its Exynos chipset some more

by: Bams SadewoOctober 22, 2012

Many developers are shying away from working their magic on Exynos-based devices due to Samsung’s reluctance to share proper documentation and source code for its chipset. Following its promise to come up with a solution, it seems Samsung is ready to open its Exynos playground – albeit partially.

During the Big Android BBQ event yesterday, where Samsung’s Exynos division was around to hold a Q&A session, the company faced quite a grilling from the developer community. As reported by XDA-developers, here’s the outcome of the discussion.

  • Samsung has set up an Exynos Developer Board (origenboard) to support the devs community
  • The division is working with Insignal, Inc. to provide proprietary binaries that allows full system development on Exynos devices
  • Open source for the Kernel and Platform (HAL, OMX, Framework patches)
  • The source code will be made available under GPLv2 and Apache 2.0
  • Mali GPU dev support will be provided


The spree of possible good news doesn’t end there, because Samsung apparently will also provide Git server access starting next month, as well as launch a dedicated website for the origenboard.

While it’s not exactly the breakthrough that some developers were hoping for, it’s a good starting point. The community is now waiting for Samsung to turn its words into actions. Do you believe that Samsung will bring the goods?

  • john

    Fuck yeah!

  • Good. And I think Samsung should and will deliver.

  • EKfine

    a little late but yeah..

  • The Calm Critic

    In their Android + overall SoC development strategy, I don’t think Samsung has any other better options except for going open. One may argue that it means less for 90% of end users but it’s the 10% that pushes the envelope like it or not. I hope this time it’s serious.

  • DrGomez
  • Scarface


    You should also read this, since Entropy512 was live there and spoke to Samsung engineers directly:

    • Andrew Dodd

      My opinion is SLIGHTLY better than xplodwild’s… but still, this announcement is really “meh” and its importance is really contingent on whether the source they have already provided is broken on OrigenBoard. That’s sort of the impression I got but again… huge language barrier issues.

      What we do know:
      Source for nearly all of those components they say they are releasing source for already exists
      That source is totally useless on 20 million or more devices (basically, all phones, as compared to maybe a few thousand OrigenBoards sold) for hwcomposer, HDMI, camera, etc. The only thing that works well is OMX stuff.

      What may have been revealed this weekend but I can’t be sure:
      That source is almost as broken on OrigenBoard as it is on phones. I’m not spending $200+ to find this out for sure.

      What we don’t know:
      How much of an improvement in quality this source will actually be.
      When we will get something that amounts to more than “ICS tarball drop that isn’t broken” – this is, effectively, not getting working ICS reference source until two Android revisions after ICS.

      Pretty much… This might be enough to keep some on the CM Exynos maintainer team from stopping all work with their devices, but you’re not going to see CM support for any new Exynos-based device for a long time unless a new maintainer picks it up.

      I’m really hoping that after all of the pwnsauce Sony dished out at BABBQ, Samsung will be more cooperative with the community, but I’m a little bit skeptical of them doing anything that matters.

  • limitless

    Looks like even if they do keep to their word and deliver (always a long shot with samsung) its just giving the devs the wrong tools for the job,

    Well, lets hope our reaction to Samsung will be noticeable not just for them but for any other company that wants to mess around with the dev community. I for one will never recommend any Samsung product let alone buy one myself ( I feel like a fool for convincing 5 of my friends/colleges to purchase the sgs2 a year ago)