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Linux adds ARM SoCs

Jun 3, 2008 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 5 views

The forthcoming release of Linux 2.6.27 will extend the mainline kernel's support for Marvell's embedded storage processors. The release will add basic support for Marvell's Loki (88RC8480), a system-on-chip (SoC) processor integrating a 400MHz-1GHz Feroceon core with a mix of on-chip peripheral interfaces aimed at storage and networking.

The support arrived in the form of three patches from Lennert Buytenhek, who maintains numerous ARM sub-architectures. The patches arrived after the 2.6.26 merge window closed, and thus will be held over for the 2.6.27 kernel, Buytenhek said.

Marvell has shared few details about Loki so far. From Buytenhek's description, however, the forthcoming part boasts a Feroceon CPU core running at between 400 MHz and 1.0 GHz. Other specs include:

  • 64 bit DDR controller

  • 512K of internal SRAM
  • A pair of x4 (“by four”) PCI-Express ports
  • A pair of gigabit Ethernet ports
  • A pair of 4x SAS/SATA controllers
  • A pair of UARTs
  • Two TWSI controllers
  • IDMA/XOR engines

Buytenhek commented, “These patches add basic support for [the] CPU, timers, interrupts, and UARTs. The gigabit Ethernet controllers are supported by the in-tree mv643xx_eth driver, and the SAS/SATA controllers will be supported by a future patch to the in-tree mvsas driver.”

Linux first gained Feroceon architecture support with April's 2.6.25 release. Additionally, a “plat-orion rework” that went into 2.6.26 aims to make it easier for Linux maintainers to add support for Marvell's current and future SoCs, Buytenhek said.

Buytenhek explained, “Basically, adding support for an SoC is now a simple exercise of making timers and interrupts work, and then simply enabling those peripherals that are featured in the SoC.”

More details about the kernel's new Loki support can be found on the Linux-ARM mailing list, here, here, and here. Additionally, Marvell should soon release Loki product details on its website, here.

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