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Linux SDKs target Cortex-A8 SoCs

Aug 19, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Linux development specialist RidgeRun announced the availability of embedded software development kits (SDKs) and engineering support services for the Texas Instruments (TI) OMAP35x line of systems-on-chips (SoCs). The SDKs offer Linux kernels and drivers, plus reference applications and libraries, and come in Free and Developer's versions, says the TI-focused company.

TI announced its Cortex-A8-based OMAP35xx line in February. The line closely resembles TI's OMAP34xx offerings for mobile phones, but with a larger ball-pitch and lower-volume pricing, for use in embedded applications and less mainstream consumer electronics devices.

OMAP 35x block diagram
(Click to enlarge)

TI's OMAP35x Evaluation Module
(Click for details)

The RidgeRun SDKs are optimized to work with TI's OMAP35x Evaluation Module (EVM), pictured at right. The SDKs are modular, to help developers port applications, says the company. The free version of the SDK is said to provide features including:

  • Panel driven build tool
  • Numerous integrated open source applications
  • Small footprint, can fit on 2MB of flash
  • RidgeRun's rrload bootloader
  • Linux 2.6 kernel with real-time patches
  • GCC 4.1 with soft-float ARM support
  • uClibc or glibc based toolchain
  • NPTL (native POSIX thread library) support in glibc and uClibc
  • EABI support on ARM targets
  • Gdbserver and gdb for system debugging

The Developer's SDK provides additional support, including an assigned Linux specialist who will “gather design requirements, exchange sample hardware, and communicate project progress,” says RidgeRun. Other Developer's SDK features include:

  • 60 hours of support for board bring-up, driver tuning, open source package porting, application design support, current fixes, tuning, and patches
  • Profiler tool
  • Access to several target file systems
  • Open OCD script generation
  • Sample programs for AIC, I2C, and SPI devices
  • Dual boot or backup partition aids
  • Power management tools

Additionally, the Developer SDKs are bundled with user interface, media, and networking applications previously proven on TI's TMS320DM6446 DaVinci processors, and the low-cost TMS320DM355 digital video SoC, for which RidgeRun announced an SDK last October.

After closing its doors in 2002, RidgeRun relaunched in July of 2006 with its focus remaining on providing embedded Linux support for TI's ARM-based processors and chipsets. Based in Eden Prairie, Minn.-based the company engineering team is primarily located in Costa Rica.


The RidgeRun free SDK and Developer's kits for the OMAP35x are available now, with the Developer's kit costing $6,500, says the company. More information on the OMAP35X SDK may be found here.

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