Hardware vendors claim they support Linux when they give you some patches that add drivers or BSPs for their particular chip. Any open source developer can tell you this is a recipe for disaster, and I have a recent experience proving the point. This article describes what went wrong, and how I was able to work around it.
A customer had bought a development board for the TI OMAP3 processor from Logic, and a slave board with a camera chip. The development board came with a series of 80 patches on the 2.6.28 kernel. The camera came with a single patch file, and a readme specifying it was based on TI’s OMAP35x-PSP-SDK-setuplinux-02.01.01.08.bin. This SDK is a series of 450 patches on a particular commit of Tony Lindgren’s linux-omap-2.6 repository.