Samsung Sens 800

The Samung Sens 800 notebook is a Intel Pentium machine with either 75 or 90MHz. It can have up to 40MB of RAM and DSTN or TFT display. It uses the Cirrus CLGD7543 SVGA chipset. It also has two PCMCIA slots and a builtin ES1488 soundcard.

My configuration is as follows:

Installing it was quite easy because I have a PCMCIA SCSI CDROM for it and could do it from CDROM right away. I used RedHat-5.1 for the first install and updated to RedHat-5.2 lately. So far no real problems.

The built-in soundcard is somewhat strange. It is detected by "normal" sounddrivers as SoundBlaster 1.0 or 2.0 which means 8 bit mode, mono, just 22kHz sampling frequency and no mixer. After browsing through the net I found a patch for sounddrivers in 2.0.* kernels which works quite well. With this patch you can have either 8 bits at 44.1kHz or 16 bits at 22kHz and the mixer is supported. It is still mono because the chipset does not support stereo ;)

Setting up XFree86 properly took me about three months (with quite some time between tries ;) The problem is two fold:

  1. Using wrong pixel clocks with LCD displays is fatal! Not only the SVGA chipset, in this case CLGD7543, is a digital chip but also the display's chipset! I.e. when using wrong clocks not only the chipset may crash, the displays's logic may also render your machine dead or useless!
  2. The XFree86 Cirrus CLGD7543 driver has a bug which prevents 16bpp mode from working. I found a patch on the net which fixes this and has to be applied to the XFree86 link-kit. After that the linear addressing mode works and therefor 16bpp work too! Great! I have not yet managed to get 24bpp to work but that's not that important especially since the TFT of the Sens800 only supports 18bpp. The patch is for XFree86-3.3.1 or earlier but can nearly easily be applied to later releases.

And here some references in short: