Afatech AF9015

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A combination DVB-T demodulator and USB bridge chip from Afatech. This is the company's second generation COFDM demodulator, and is the successor to the AF900x family of chips. Given the chip's dual nature, the AF9015 is fairly complex. It is also very flexible, supporting a wide variety of device configurations (single USB, dual USB, Platform mode, PCI/PCIe based devices, and even SPI is supported by it with some tuners (such as for a Consumer Electronics product that runs Windows CE)). Documentation for the AF901x family can be obtained from AFA (under NDA), but it is apparently confusing, as well as incomplete -- as there are a lot of areas that are undocumented.

The AF901x family consists of the following chips:

  • (list chips here ...or perhaps start a new article for the AF901x family, and leave this one dedicated to the AF9015)

Examples of DVB-T USB devices in which the AF9015 chip can be found include:

Drivers

At present there are three different Linux drivers available for the AF901x. That may strike one as being strange or showing signs of a state of dis-coordination, but in actuality, each driver has its own reason for coming into existence. In addition, taken collectively, the development of three different drivers highlights the relative complexity of the chip, as well as the flexibility in device design that its employment permits.

Opensource Mercurial Repositories

  • http://jusst.de/hg/af901x ... This is a second driver attempt for the AF901x by Manu Abrahams. In his personal assessment, he got many things right, but some things are still wrong. In addition, his driver works with just one particular device.

Vendor Released Driver

  • A vendor-written driver specific to the AF9015 chip alone is available from http://af.zsolttech.com/. Apparently, AFA had this driver written (author Rick Huang?) specifically for a single device from one customer, who then in turn ended up violating the NDA.

In any regard, users have reported that this vendor driver is indeed working, including for x64_64 (for some further information see the threads here and here.

For devices based on the MT2060 tuner (such as the Geniatech T328B) you may need to patch the file MT2060M.h in the following way:

replace

typedef unsigned long   UData_t;

with

typedef unsigned int   UData_t;

Then compile, install, modprobe dvb_usb_af9015 and you are finished.

Original Vendor-released driver

The above device driver probably originated from the code found at [1].

This original code has since been modified by somebody else (at afatech?) to use the MXL5005 tuner and the Digitalnow TinyTwin is partly functional.

A Comprehensive OSS Driver

For its part, Afatech does not want any of the above driver attempts to make their way into the kernel, as none of them are very robust in terms of chip support.

Instead, AFA has embarked upon the development of yet another OSS driver, which will be generic in that it will be capable of supporting the entire AF901x family as well as all possible device configurations permitted. In addition to the expectation that it will be this driver that is eventually adopted into the kernel, AFA have also signaled that they intend provide continuous support (i.e. they will stay on as the driver's maintainer).

Currently, this newest driver has reached a second round of testing in AFA labs, but that has only been in conjunction (with some peripheral manufacturers) with a few devices, and, as it stands, the code is still not particularly generic (due to both the complexities of the chip itself as well as those involved in getting the various device configurations to work). So, as of yet, there currently isn't anything for the end user to test. However, as soon things progress past this stage, there will be something released for users to test. There is no specific release timeframe set for this, but hopefully it will be soon, as the chip manufacturer (as well as everybody else involved) is under pressure, due to the large adoption of the chip by different peripheral manufacturers (Avermedia, Terratec, Azurewave, DigitalNow, Pinnacle, as well as some number of unbranded Chinese manufacturers too). In short, a lot more devices based on this chipset are expected to materialize.

External Links