Wind River Linux for New LSI PowerPC SoCs

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Jun 292010

LSI and Wind River have announced a “multi-year strategic partnership” for Wind River Linux on LSI’s Axxia Communication Processors (ACP) product line. The ACP family is based on IBM’s 476FP cores, and are aimed at networking applications. The ACP3448, available now, contains four cores, a number of networking offload engines, and is supposed to handle 20Gbps of some sort of traffic. In addition to Wind River Linux, Wind River is also offering VxWorks and an Eclipse IDE, and ENEA OSE support is also available.

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Freescale Announces 64-bit core and SoCs

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Jun 232010

At FTF this week, Freescale announced their first 64-bit core, the e5500. It will be used in the P5010 and P5020 SoCs, both members of the “P5” family of their QorIQ brand. The processors, which can run at 2.2 GHz, are aimed at improving single-thread performance for control plane applications, where Freescale says its customers have had difficultly developing software that can take advantage of the eight e500mc cores in P4080. According to Freescale, the need for a 64-bit address space was driven by the expanding memory footprint of network routing tables.

Also announced was the P3041, a four-core e500mc processor that uses less than half the power of the eight-core P4080, and includes a RAID5/6 hardware accelerator.

Simulators will be available next month, and all three processors will sample in 4Q 2010, with availability in the second half of 2011. EETimes has additional coverage.

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Reminder: No (Official) Fedora 13 for PowerPC

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May 102010

Joe Brockmeier reminds us that Fedora 13 will not ship an official PowerPC version. PowerPC has been reclassified as a “ secondary architecture” and the community at large will be responsible for producing future Fedora PowerPC builds. So far, the necessary infrastucture is not yet in place for that to occur.

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Freescale Announces Linux Partnership with Mentor Graphics

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Apr 292010

Freescale has announced a new partnership for Linux enablement of its QorIQ and PowerQUICC networking processors. Previously, Freescale used a home-grown distribution building tool called “LTIB” to produce its board support packages (BSPs); they will move away from this tool to “System Builder” provided by Mentor Graphics. Mentor’s press release claims that, among other benfits, this will enable seamless migration from the free version of the BSP to a commercially supported version.

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Sony Sued for Disabling Linux on PlayStation 3

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Apr 292010

Sony upset a vocal group of customers when it recently removed the ability to run Linux on the PlayStation 3 with dubious justification. One of those customers has now filed a class action lawsuit in California, alleging false advertising, among other things. Apparently users are forced to accept a license after powering on the system, and since this license says Sony can remove functionality whenever it wants, the validity of “shrinkwrap licenses” is also being questioned. Ars Technica has also covered the story.

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Linux Support Removed from PlayStation 3

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Apr 052010

When the PS3 Slim was released, it no longer supported Linux, but Sony reassured owners of the original PS3s that Linux would continue to work on those systems. Sony has now backtracked and released a firmware update which removes the ability to run Linux on the original PlayStation 3, the last mass-market consumer PowerPC Linux device.

Sony claims this move is a reaction to the recent PlayStation exploit, but given that the exploit requires hardware expertise and doesn’t enable piracy, it seems more likely that the company is using security as a convenient excuse to reduce expenses.

Meanwhile, the author of the exploit has announced he’s investigating development of a custom firmware to preserve Linux support.

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Arch Linux Supports Apple G5s

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Mar 042010

The Arch Linux folks have happily announced that they now support Apple G5s, with a 64-bit kernel and 32-bit userland. They also apparently have a much simpler installer now as well.

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PowerPC News From ISSCC

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Feb 172010

Last week at ISSCC there were a couple of PowerPC-related announcements: first, IBM announced a “wire-speed” network processor, built around 16 4-thread 64-bit embedded PowerPC cores. The processor is supposed to be a “middle ground” between server and network processors, and contains on-chip accelerators for cryptography, XML, and regular expressions.

Second, IBM’s POWER7 was also announced. It uses 8 4-thread cores, and lots of large caches.

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CRUX PPC 2.6 released

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Jan 222010

A new version of CRUX PPC, a port of the CRUX Linux distribution, has been released. CRUX PPC supports most recent PowerPC hardware platforms, including both 32- and 64-bit systems. See the release notes for more information.

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End of Life for Cell Processor

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Nov 252009

There’s no question that the Cell processor was successfully deployed in the PlayStation 3 and the Roadrunner supercomputer. Beyond that, its success has been debatable, and IBM has now announced that there will be no further versions of Cell processors released.

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