Terra Soft Resells Mercury 970FX Servers

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Aug 222005

Terra Soft Solutions has announced it will resell Mercury’s XR9 servers, which are rack-mounted 2-way server systems based on the PowerPC 970FX. According to Mercury, these systems are “developed specifically for embedded computing,” especially High Performance Computing (HPC). Prices and detailed specifications are not yet available, and no word yet on a post-Apple PowerPC workstation.

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Valgrind for 32-bit PowerPC

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Aug 222005

Valgrind, a suite of debugging and profiling tools, is “beginning to be usable” for 32-bit PowerPC. Initial support by Paul Mackerras is being merged into the 3.x codebase, and Julian Seward has posted a request for alpha testers to the developer mailing list.

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Full-System Simulator for IBM PowerPC 970

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Aug 212005

IBM has released a full-system simulator for the PowerPC 970 processor, which is capable of running the Linux kernel and Linux applications. It can be run in either functional-only or performance simulation modes, but only runs on x86 Linux. It is a binary-only download, and requires registration with IBM and agreeing to a click-through license.

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IBM p570 Takes Top 4-way TPC-C Benchmark

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Aug 162005

POWER5-based IBM p570 has taken the top two absolute performance spots for a 4-way server running the TPC-C benchmark. The systems ran Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS 4, with Oracle 10g in the second-place spot, and DB2 in first place.

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Carmack Questions Cell, Xenon Processors

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Aug 152005

John Carmack, famous Quake developer and co-founder of id Software, likes the idea of the PlayStation 3 as an open platform, but doesn’t like that Cell and Xenon (used in the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, respectively) are in-order processors. Additionally, in his QUAKECON keynote, he observed that while graphics code can be parallelized easily with 3D accelerators, general game code cannot, and so switching to a lower-speed multiple-core architecture may not be a good model for gaming.

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Power Architecture Newsletter on Real-time Systems

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Aug 152005

The latest IBM Power Architecture Newsletter features an interview with IBM Linux Technology Center’s Paul McKenney about Linux as a real-time operating system (RTOS). The Cell and Xenon processors, power consumption, and other topics relevent to embedded systems are also discussed.

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USB Stick Takes Over Windows PC?

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Aug 102005

Details are scarce, but it seems BlackDog is tiny USB device that installs device drivers onto a host Windows PC which allow it to take over the host’s keyboard, video, mouse and network. The device itself runs Debian Linux on an unspecified 400MHz PowerPC, has 64MB of RAM, and either 256 or 512MB flash. Oh, and a builtin fingerprint reader and MMC card reader. Due to ship in September, Realm Systems is also planning an Open Source development contest around the device, and an SDK will be provided.

Update: LinuxDevices has posted actual information.

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New Freescale Marketing Campaign

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Aug 092005

Freescale has a new marketing campaign: “Freescale and Embedded Linux, We’ve Got You Covered!”. There is a video of some sort, but it’s in Windows Media format. A press release talks about the embedded systems being demonstrated at LinuxWorld Expo this week, including a “digital entertainment center” running on PowerPC Linux, which sounds a lot like Genesi’s home media center

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PUSH: PowerPC Users of Sweden Hack

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Aug 042005

The bi-annual PUSH event, a small gathering of Swedish PowerPC users, is going on this weekend in Gothenburg, Sweden.

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PPC and PPC64 Linux Ports to Merge

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Aug 042005

Paul Mackerras, maintainer of the 32- and 64-bit PowerPC Linux ports, has announced the intention to merge both architecture ports into a single architecture. This move should reduce maintenance work and facilitate porting to embedded 64-bit systems, as they arrive. The existing “ppc” and “ppc64” ports will stick around for as long as is needed. Work has already begun

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