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Linux BSP ships for Intel SoC

Aug 14, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 14 views

Wind River is offering an embedded Linux board support package (BSP) for Intel's EP80579 (AKA “Tolapai”) system-on-chip (SoC). The Wind River Linux 2.0 BSP is aimed at industrial automation, network security, storage, IP telephony, and wireless and enterprise networking.

Announced in late July, The Intel EP80579 Integrated Processor aims for a middle ground in power usage and performance between Intel's low-powered Atom, and its traditional embedded Core 2 Duo and Xeon processors. The SoC integrates typical northbridge and southbridge functions with a Pentium M core clocked up to 1.2GHz. The chip incorporates a memory controller hub (MCH) supporting DDR2 RAM up to 800MHz, and an SPI interface to boot flash. Additional features include up to eight lanes of PCI Express expansion, dual SATA and USB 2.0 interfaces, UARTS, GPIO, and SMBus. An “I/O complex,” meanwhile, is equipped with three Ethernet MACs, two Controller Area Network (CAN) interfaces, and a local expansion bus interface.

Intel EP80579 block diagram
(Click to enlarge)

Supporting Linux, Windows XP Embedded, VxWorks, and FreeBSD, the EP80579 is aimed primarily at communications equipment for small-to-medium business (SMB) and enterprises, says Intel. The company also listed transaction terminals, interactive clients, print and imaging applications, access applications, network-attached storage (NAS), and industrial automation as potential applications.

Wind River did not mention specific support for the “QuickAssist” version of the EP80579, which adds an ultra-highspeed FPGA co-processor interface. With QuickAssist, co-processor chips are hooked directly to the FSB, which Intel claims improve throughputs up to eight times, compared to a traditional “four-chip” VPN router design. The QuickAssist model primarily targets SMB and enterprise security appliances, including VPN/firewall and unified threat management.

Stated Rose Schooler, Intel's GM, embedded Performance Products Division,”These new products will help Wind River customers reduce time-to-market and add secure networking functionality with tight footprint and power consumption constraints.”


BSPs for the Intel EP80579 Integrated Processor are available now, says Wind River, for Wind River Linux 2.0 and VxWorks 6.6. The company refers interested customers to its support page. However, at press time no additional details appeared to be available there, and the BSPs were not yet listed on Wind River's Intel BSP page.

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