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CG Linux supports multicore MIPS64

Aug 4, 2008 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 2 views

Montavista says its Linux distribution for Carrier Grade infrastructure systems now supports five MIPS64-based multicore system-on-chip processors from Cavium. Specifically, MontaVista Linux Carrier Grade Edition 5.0 (CGE) now supports Cavium's CN5800, CN5600, CN5200, CN5000, and CN3800 processor families, the commercial Linux OS and tools provider said.

Cavium's multicore Octeon processors range from single core to 16-core models based on the company's 64-bit implementation of the MIPS instruction set. Other networking equipment vendors offering multicore MIPS64 SoCs include Broadcom and Raza Microelectronics Inc. (RMI); however, Cavium's offerings appear to scale to a greater number of cores per SoC, at this time.

Following a high-profile design win in Motorola ATCA 9301 blades, Cavium's chips have attracted lots of partner announcements, from the likes of Abatron, Trango, and Wind River. A relatively early Cavium partner, MontaVista first marketed Octeon Linux support in 2004.

MontaVista shipped CGE 5.0 last November. The company positions the product as the only Linux operating system offering compliant with three important industry standards:

  • Carrier Grade Linux 4.0 registration
  • LSB 3.0 certification
  • IPv6 logo certification

The distribution was also “designed to comply” with Scope Alliance's Linux Profile 1.2, and to support the PICMG's ATCA (Advanced Telecommunications Computing Architecture) and MicroTCA specifications, MontaVista has said.

Cavium chips announced today as supported by CGE 5.0 include:

  • CN58xx — Four- to 16-core SoCs claimed capable of “full-duplex” 10 Gigabit performance within tight power envelopes and size limitations
  • CN56xx — Six to 12 MIPS64 cores up to 1GHz on a single chip, targets “intelligent” networking, control plane, and wireless applications, Cavium says
  • CN52xx — Two- to four-core chips offering up to 4Gbps of network throughput for entry- to mid-level networking, wireless base stations, and storage services applications
  • CN5000 — Low-power one- or two-core networking SoCs for “xPON/FTTx” (passive optical networking and fiber-to-the-home/office)
  • CN3800 — Four- to 16-core parts targeting routers, intelligent switches, multi-service access equipment, storage servers, multi-protocol storage switches, border session gateways, and wireless infrastructure equipment

Not mentioned as supported by CGE 5.0 — but likely supported by other MontaVista offerings — are:

  • Cavium's “low-end” CN3000 and CN3100 SoCs, aimed at intelligent networking applications requiring throughputs from 100 Mbps to 2 Gbps
  • Cavium's forthcoming CN57xx, aimed at the storage service processor market

Dan Cauchy, senior director of market development for MontaVista's carrier and mobile products, stated, “MontaVista customers using Cavium OCTEON multicore processors include many of the world's largest manufacturers of network equipment. OCTEON processors incorporate advanced multi-layer application acceleration for networking control, data, and services applications.”

Jorge Magalhaes, VP of marketing for Emerson Network Power's embedded computing division (formerly Artesyn), stated, “We are pleased that MontaVista Linux CGE supports Emerson Network Power's OCTEON-based packet processing products, including our ATCA-9305 blade and our AMC-9210 module.”

CGE 5.0 is available now for select Cavium processors. Pricing was not disclosed.

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