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Multi-threaded MIPS cores gain embedded Linux support

May 16, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 15 views

TimeSys says its online support service for embedded Linux developers now supports the latest multi-threaded processors from MIPS Technologies. Initial LinuxLink support for MIPS's 34K core family is based on Linux 2.6.15, with a bump up to 2.6.16 planned this month, TimeSys says.

34K core family

The 34K family are the first processors to implement MIPS's “MT” (multi-threading) ASE (application-specific engine), which aims to harness processor cycles that might otherwise be spent idly awaiting memory fetches. The 34K cores can be configured with up to two VPEs (virtual processing elements), in order to run two independent OSes concurrently. Alternatively, 34K processors with dual VPEs can run a single two-way SMP (symmetrical multi-processing) OS, with support for up to five concurrently running process threads.

34K processor usage model

TimeSys says MIPS's new 34K family was “designed specifically for multi-threaded workloads” and systems requiring “workload-concurrency.” Potential targets include devices running a multithreaded application, such as VoIP (voice-over-IP) equipment, and devices requiring concurrent processing of several single-threaded applications, such as set-top boxes, network routers, digital TVs, and DVD recorders. Additionally, digital cameras, mobile handheld devices, and portable media players can benefit from the 34K cores' low power requirements and support for SMP (symmetrical multiprocessing) OSes, according to TimeSys.

LinuxLink for 34K

TimeSys says its LinuxLink service can provide MIPS licensees with “ongoing access to the most up-to-date embedded Linux resource for the 34K family of cores, throughout every stage of development.” Depending on the LinuxLink subscription options chosen, 34K core family licensees can receive “continuous access” to the following, according to TimeSys:

  • A 2.6 version of the Linux kernel developed by MIPS Technologies to enhance performance of Linux on the 34K core family
  • The latest patches from TimeSys and MIPS Technologies
  • Hundreds of cross-compiled packages
  • A processor-optimized cross-development environment
  • Alerts to relevant updates, and
  • Developer Exchange access to interactive support from TimeSys, MIPS Technologies, and the Open Source community

Mike Uhler, CTO of MIPS, stated, “LinuxLink provides licensees with a commercial source for the latest MIPS-developed Linux optimizations.”

TimeSys CEO Larry Weidman stated, “We are pleased to extend our long-standing relationship with MIPS by making LinuxLink subscriptions continuously available for their most advanced processor cores.”


LinuxLink subscriptions for the MIPS32 34K core family are available now.

MIPS shipped 34K processors last February, a month after TimeSys added MIPS 24Ke core support to LinuxLink.

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