Linux driver for the Gadgetlabs GL824

Through my writings on this blog, I was approached by a team working on a Linux driver for the Gadgetlabs GL8x24 8 channel pro audio sound card. I’ve got one in my production PC and the lack of a Linux driver has held me back from switching the host OS for my VMs to Linux.

I joined the project at the end of January and am contributing to developing and testing the driver. In working with a couple of the guys from the team, I’ve learned how the cards realtime sound engine works, how linux audio drivers are structured and how to write x86 assembly code (high speed sample moving/conversion) which is my first foray back into ASM since the Apple ][ days. My past experience with Alteras, UARTs and real time systems is all coming back to be useful again.

We’ve got the driver doing 8 channel full duplex analog loop back at the interrupt level, with 1.4ms latency and MIDI record/playback is now also working. I’ll post more details as we approach an alpha driver release.

Its a testament to the quality and functionality of these cards that even 7 years after the company that made them went under, there is a group of loyal users and dedicated developers who have kept the card going, first by writing new WDM drivers (& Altera firmware) so it would work well in XP, and now – a Linux driver development. I’m really proud to be one of them.