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Linux 2.6 BSP supports IBM’s most powerful PPC chip

Mar 31, 2004 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

LynuxWorks will ship in June a Linux 2.6 based board support package (BSP) for the IBM 970FX PowerPC processor. The 970FX is a 90nm version of the 130nm PPC970 chip used in current desktop Apple Macintosh G5 systems, and is considered to be IBM's most powerful PPC chip.

LynuxWorks competitor TimeSys also plans support for the 970FX development board.

The LynuxWorks BSP will include BlueCat Linux 5.0, claimed to be the first commercial Linux distribution with a 2.6 series Linux kernel. It will target 64-bit systems ranging from large-scale, multi-CPU machines to small consumer devices. It will also provide native support for 32-bit applications, according to LynuxWorks.

LynuxWorks says it offers BSPs for IBM's complete line of PowerPC products. It earlier released a BSP for those wishing to use Apple's G5 machines as the basis for developing embedded Linux systems around the PowerPC 970.

LynuxWorks says its BSP for the 970FX will support its latest development tools, including VisualLynux and SpyKer. VisualLynux is an extension of the Microsoft Visual Studio IDE that enables developers to build embedded Linux applications in a Windows host environment. VisualLynux was recently extended with a Studio.NET interface. SpyKer is a dynamic instrumented system trace analyzer.

The 90nm process PowerPC 970FX draws half the wattage of the original 130nm PPC 970, and will be available at clock rates up to 2.5GHz. It was named Best Desktop Processor in the 2004 Microprocessor Report Analysts' Choice Awards.

IBM PPC Director Ray Bryant said, “With BlueCat Linux, we can offer our customers the benefits of Linux 2.6 for their design needs due to the open standard interface that Linux provides.”

LynuxWorks CEO Dr. Inder Singh said, “With our support of the fastest PowerPC processor, we anticipate 64-bit and Linux development to make inroads into many more deeply embedded computing environments.”


The BlueCat Linux 5.0 package for the IBM PowerPC 970 processor families is expected to be generally available in June 2004 on the IBM reference card, and is available today on the Mac G5. Customers interested in beta versions should contact LynuxWorks directly.

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