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AMC design runs Linux on dual PPC cores

Oct 20, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 4 views

AMCC announced an Advanced Mezzanine Card (AMC) reference design kit for its wireless-oriented, dual-processor PowerPC 460GT processor. The “Arches” kit includes a reference board (pictured) from Silicon Turnkey Express, a Linux 2.6 image, and tools including RapidIO diagnostics and Enea's Linx interprocess… communications (IPC) framework.

(Click for larger view of the Arches board)

The single-width, mid-size board measures 7.1 x 2.9 x 0.7 inches (180 x 74 x 17mm), adhering to the AMC (or AdvancedMC) format for boards that plug into AdvancedTCA (ATCA) and smaller MicroTCA networking blades. The Arches kit enables customers to evaluate the PowerPC 460GT processor in an ATCA environment, says the company. Developers can then use the design as a starting-point for developing their own products.

The Arches AMC card from Silicon Turnkey Express is equipped with two AMCC PowerPC 460GT system-on-chips (SoCs), each clocked at 1GHz. The 460GT is similar to the general-purpose 460EX, but is targeted at the wireless infrastructure market. Both SoCs offer similar specs, with low power dissipation, a floating point unit, and an optional security engine. In addition, the 460GT offers interfaces for Serial RapidIO (SRIO).


Arches block diagram
(Click to enlarge)

In April, AMCC announced a 460GT-based “Glacier” reference board developed by Embedded Planet. Then in July, Abatron announced that its Linux-friendly “BDI” hardware debug probes supported both of the 460GT and 460EX.

The Arches board ships with 1GB of DDR2 SDRAM, 128MB of NOR Flash, and 1GB Micro-SD flash, says AMCC. Connectivity includes six gigabit Ethernet ports, two of which are front-facing, and dual front-facing serial ports. The AMC connector is equipped with the four rear-facing gigabit Ethernet ports, as well as a Serial RapidIO port and a x1/x4 (“by-one” or “by-four”) PCI-Express/Serial RapidIO port, says AMCC. The Arches board also provides a shared JTAG connector and two trace connectors.


Linx IPC framework architecture
(Click to enlarge)

The Arches flash image is loaded with a Linux 2.6 kernel and U-Boot boot firmware, as well as a file system that includes the RapidFET RapidIO network management, diagnostic, and configuration tool from FETCorp, says the company. The file system is also said to include Enea's open-source Linx interprocess communications (IPC) framework (see diagram above).

Rounding out the package are a variety of sample applications, including a web server, telnet server, and FTP server, as well as utilities for board configuration and for setting the IP address and MAC ID. Bundled benchmarks are said to include TTCP, DBench, HINT, STREAM, and MPEG-4. AMCC also bundles the Embedded Linux Development Kit (ELDK) CD from Denx.

Stated Robert Applebaum, President of Silicon Turnkey Express, “The Arches reference design kit will enable AMCC's wireless infrastructure customers to accelerate their products' time-to-market and use standard development environments such as ATCA and micro-TCA.”

Availability

The Arches dual-processor PowerPC 460GT reference design kit will be available in November, says AMCC, and can be ordered using the part numbers RD-460GT-AMC-01. The suggested distributor resale price is $3,000. More information may be found here.

AMCC is demonstrating the Arches kit at the AdvancedTCA/MicroTCA Summit and Exhibition, Oct. 21-23 in booth #304, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, Calif. On Tuesday, Oct. 21, at 1:40 PM, AMCC will host a seminar at the show, entitled “Bringing in Advanced TCA and MicroTCA projects on-time and on budget.”


 
This article was originally published on LinuxDevices.com and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.



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