Update: TI 7×21 FlashMedia/SD Host Controller (104C:8033 & 104C:8034)

Bit of an update, my previous post is now getting a significant amount of traffic; in fact it’s my hottest post yet!
Progress over at http://tifmxx.berlios.de/ – I downloaded the latest revision of this driver and it appears to be going through re-structuring, still not-functional I am afraid.
However, a month since contacting TI I received a response to my telephone-based support request by email.

From: support@ti.com
Hello Michael,
I am sorry TI doesn’t support software drivers for cardbus devices,
please see below for more details on this:
TI PC Card, Flash Media, IEEE 1394 and Smart Card Controller
Devices:
Texas Instruments (TI) I does not develop software drivers for
these multi-function controllers. Our devices are used in Personal
Computers and add-in cards from many manufacturers. These
manufacturers include drivers from Microsoft and, for certain
platforms, from the Linux community that enable the PC Card and 1394
functions in these TI devices. Texas Instruments does not provide
drivers for Windows, Linux or any other operating system.
If you are encountering difficulties with your PC or add-in card,
please contact the manufacturer for support. Texas Instruments does
not provide any support for these end products.
If you require drivers for Flash Media or Smart Card you need to
contact the PC manufacturer. TI does not provide drivers for atypical
system applications.
Additional information
To find the manufacturer of the card, use the FCC’s web page
http://www.fcc.gov/oet/fccid/ to search for the FCC ID number printed
on the bottom of the card. If it came preinstalled, please contact
the store where you purchased the computer.
Third-party vendors have developed Card &Socket Services driver
support for other operating systems. These vendors include Phoenix
Technologies/Award Software, and SystemSoft:
Microsoft
www.microsoft.com 800-426-9400
Award Software/Phoenix Technologies www.phoenix.com
800-677-7305
Systemsoft Corp.
www.systemsoft.com 800-796-0088
Softex, Inc.
www.softexinc.com 512-452-8836
Best Regards,
Sandeep.
TI assumes no liability for applications assistance or customer
product design. Customer is fully responsible for all design
decisions and engineering with regard to its products, including
decisions relating to application of TI products. By providing
technical information, TI does not intend to offer or provide
engineering services or advice concerning Customer’s design. If
Customer desires engineering services, the Customer should rely on
its retained employees and consultants and/or procure engineering
services from a licensed professional engineer (LPE).
***Please do not delete the below Thread ID when replying to this
email, doing so will delay our response to your inquiry***
[SR THREAD ID:1-3RGCWY]
Dear Michael Cutler
Thank you for choosing Texas Instruments Technical Support. Your
case 1-227511394 has been resolved. See the description below for
details.
Would like Linux driver for this card. I told him we didn’t supply
them and to contact PCMCIA, but he said that he knew somebody who had
managed to get these from TI
Regards,
X0045551
Texas Instruments
Semiconductor Technical Support
http://www-k.ext.ti.com/sc/technical_support/pic/americas.htm
If you have further questions please reply to this email.
TI assumes no liability for applications assistance or customer
product design. Customer is fully responsible for all design
decisions and engineering with regard to its products, including
decisions relating to application of TI products. By providing
technical information, TI does not intend to offer or provide
engineering services or advice concerning Customer’s design. If
Customer desires engineering services, the Customer should rely on
its retained employees and consultants and/or procure engineering
services from a licensed professional engineer (LPE).
***Please do not delete the below Thread ID when replying to this
email, doing so will delay our response to your inquiry***
[SR THREAD ID:1-3RGCWY]

And my response.

Dear Sandeep,
Thank you for taking the time to respond to my query. I appreciate that Texas Instruments (TI) does not tend to support end-users of your devices, especially with driver problems and believe me if it were that simple I would not be taking up your time today.
The reason I am contacting you is simple, I am trying to use my TI 7×20/7×21 Flash Media controller (PCI ID 104c:8033) within Linux. After a lot of research on the subject I discovered this page on the Everest Consultants Inc website. It suggests the Texas Instruments hired Everest to produce Linux Device Drivers for this particular chip; judging by the write up they have produced a well designed and much needed driver solution. I contacted Everest about obtaining this driver and they referred me to you.
http://www.everestinc.com/fml.htm
In the meantime I continued researching this on the internet and discovered an open source and “free” (as in freedom) effort to produce a driver for this device. Unfortunately it isn’t progressing particularly quickly because technical documentation on this chip is scarce.
http://tifmxx.berlios.de/
I also discovered another person who had managed to obtain a binary version of what are presumably the Everest-made drivers. It is also interesting to note that the ‘modinfo’ for the driver states it is under GPL (Gnu Public License) and as such, the source code should be available on demand.
http://www.webcon.ca/~imorgan/tifm21/
I have been recording my progress on my personal website. In the past seven days I have had 243 unique visitors who have searched for this device in relation to Linux and discovered my website and the record of my progress, a handful have contacted me directly about it.
There is a great demand for Linux support for this device, I would like to see either the Everest-made GPL driver source code made available or, extensive technical documentation – sufficient to allow open source developers to produce a driver – made available to the Open Source Community.
Yours Sincerely,

Michael Cutler . o O ( http://blog.lobstertechnology.com/ )
PGP: 0xC3ABA735

I will follow up by calling them again during mainstream office hours and see where I can get myself transferred to this time. 🙂

2 thoughts on “Update: TI 7×21 FlashMedia/SD Host Controller (104C:8033 & 104C:8034)”

  1. Jorge Vieyra

    Make it 244 unique visitors. I also have a TI chip and card reader. If there is any way I can help, please let me know.

  2. Hi, just to say i also got a PCIxx21 smartcard driver, and trying to get it working. My laptop is an hp nc8230 so i thing i’ll try to contact hp to see what they’ll answer.
    I hope TI will release a driver, or (better) that the open source project will succeed in creating one.

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