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Four 32-bit RISC chips gain Linux support

Apr 3, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 2 views

Silicon vendor Renesas Technology's U.S. subsidiary today announced Linux support for four 32-bit RISC chips. The support comprises Linux BSPs (board support packages), network stacks, and “Linux system integration” software packages, and targets developers of mobile devices, industrial control, and automation applications.

Renesas subsidiary Renesas Technology America (RTA) said its “complete Linux solutions” offer an “excellent out-of-box experience” that shortens development time. The solutions are available initially for four 32-bit Renesas SoCs (system-on-chip processors), all based on 32-bit SH4AL-DSP core launched in 2004, along with a chip positioned as the first SH-Mobile silicon powerful enough to run Linux.

Three of the supported SH chips are SH-Mobile chips, aimed at mobile devices such as phones. The other targets industrial control and automation. The three SH-Mobile processors — the SH7354, SH7343, and SH7722 — integrate H.264 video decoders, for fast, power-efficient video playback. The SH7763, meanwhile, integrates Ethernet and LCD controllers and a USB interface, and is said to offer 478 MIPS (millions of instructions per second) performance.

RTA said the open-source Linux kernel included in its support packages has a memory footprint of only 500KB — reducing overall system cost. Additional touted components and features include:

  • Network management software
  • Media players
  • GUI libraries
  • 3D graphics
  • “Optimized to maximize network data throughput in multimedia and network applications”
  • Includes drivers for LCD, USB, Ethernet, serial, and audio interfaces
  • Audio, video, and speech codecs “pre-integrated” and available as “fully optimized, verified middleware”


RTA's Linux support packages for various SH4AL-DSP based SoCs appear to be available now.

In addition, the SuperH ecosystem includes companies providing third-party products and development services, Renesas said. These include Kenati Technologies, providing system integration services and networking products; Trinity Convergence, offering video and voice over IP software and support; HI corporation, for graphics engines and support; and Trolltech, for graphics engines and user interface support.

Renesas spun out of a joint venture between Hitachi and Mitsubishi in 2003.

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