Sony Publishes UART Plans, Makes Kernel Development More Understandable

Sony Publishes UART Plans, Makes Kernel Development More Understandable

When you get a custom kernel to flash onto your device, in most cases you don’t think about its development process. Developers often use some really complicated tools to make the device boot.

Among them you can find Universal Asynchronous Receiver Transmitters (UARTs) used mostly for debugging.

One of our favorite OEMs decided to show us how everything looks like.

MG_2392_smallSony is the good guy Greg of Android development. We know this fact and we almost always support their decisions. During our last interview with Alin Jerpelea we learned a bit about Sony’s plans regarding AOSP development. To make things even easier for developers Sony decided to release some sort of manual of using UARTs. Universal Asynchronous Receiver Transmitter uses special ports with different locations in selected Sony devices. With instructions provided in this blog post, things should be easier.

Developing a custom kernel and especially porting the drivers (what Sony did with its universal kernel) is a time-consuming task. Developers without proper tools may not be able to get any logs, as the device is not recognized by shell. Using UART is often the only solution to get a log and a chance to fix things to make a device boot and run properly.

Beware, dragons ahead! If you are not a developer or a power user willing to learn, do note that you might turn your expensive phone into an expensive brick. Use the provided information only when you know what you are doing. Unlocking the bootloader and opening the device cover may lead to warranty breach, so also keep that in mind.

Do you think that other OEMs should follow Sony’s strategy? Or is exposing such complicated plans to the public is a risky thing? Let us know what you think in the comments!

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