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4G Linux networking platform features real-time support

Oct 5, 2010 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Wind River announced a collaboration with Alcatel-Lucent to develop a common Linux development platform for the latter's wireless network base stations, optimized for the Freescale QorIQ P4080 multicore processor. The platform is based on Wind River Linux and the recent Linux 2.6.34, plus the latest version of the PREEMPT RT real-time Linux technology, says the company.

Alcatel-Lucent's common platform will support wireless network products including both time division duplex and frequency division duplex variants of 4G or LTE basestations, says Wind River. The system is based on the Wind River Linux commercial embedded distribution, which is certified for Carrier Grade Linux 4.0, meeting the requirements for mission-critical telecom and networking equipment.

The platform is said to be based on Linux kernel 2.6.34, which was released in May. The platform also includes the latest revision of the PREEMPT RT real-time Linux patch, says Wind River. (PREEMPT RT is overseen by the Open Source Automation Development Lab (OSADL), and is said to advance the Linux kernel's deterministic nature, offering reduced latency for real-time response.)

The common platform can apparently be used with a variety of multicore architectures, but is optimized for Alcatel-Lucent networking technology based on Freescale's PowerPC-based QorIQ P4080 processor (see block diagram below).

QorIQ P4080 block diagram

(Click to enlarge)

Aimed primarily at high-end networking, the QorIQ P4080 is equipped with eight cores operating at 1.5GHz. Currently the most powerful member of the QorIQ family that is currently in full production, the P4080 adds features not found on the other QorIQs. These include private backside cache per core, tri-level cache hierarchy, datapath acceleration, and a Virtutech-based hypervisor. There is also said to be a CoreNet "coherency fabric" inter-core interconnect.

In addition to providing the Wind River Linux foundation for the Alcatel-Lucent basestation platform, Wind River is supplying testing, integration, and long-term local support and services appropriate for the long life cycle of network infrastructure products, says the Intel subsidiary.

Stated Mike Langlois, general manager for networking and telecommunications at Wind River, "Wind River is able to provide customized, accelerated access to optimized multi-core hardware and software solutions to help Alcatel-Lucent achieve faster time-to-market for its 4G solutions."

Stated Bill Zucker, vice president of wireless common assets and platforms at Alcatel-Lucent, "The need for higher speeds from wireless networks requires top performance, and to achieve this we needed to look to the latest multi-core technologies integrated with a world-class Linux distribution."

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