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PowerPC 440GX gains BlueCat Linux BSP

Feb 8, 2005 — by Rick Lehrbaum — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

LynuxWorks has added a BSP supporting AMCC's PowerPC 440GX embedded processor to its BlueCat Linux 5.1 embedded Linux distribution based on the 2.6 Linux kernel. The 440GX is aimed at high performance embedded applications such as networking control plane applications, RAID controllers, iSCSI processing, and storage area networking (SAN) equipment.

AMCC (Applied Micro Circuits Corp.) acquired IBM's 400 series PowerPC embedded processors last April, along with a license to IBM's “Power Architecture.”

Key features of the PowerPC 440GX embedded processor include:

  • Up to 800MHz processor clock rate
  • 256KB on-chip SRAM, configurable as an L2 cache or as packet/code-store memory
  • 32/64-bit PCI-X and DDR SDRAM controllers
  • DMA controller
  • Four Ethernet MACs — two 10/100/1Gb MACs with jumbo frame support; two 10/100 Mbps
  • TCP/IP Acceleration Hardware (TAH)
  • Messaging unit facilitates communications over the PCI [bus]
  • Other I/O ports: two serial ports; two IIC controllers; up to 32 GPIO bits; general purpose times
  • JTAG support

LynuxWorks says that its BlueCat Linux BSP for the PowerPC 440GX provides a balance of high performance and low power. In addition, the company claims to be the only commercial vendor to take advantage of the 440GX's CRC (cyclic redundancy check) and TCP/IP segmentation offload support, within an embedded Linux 2.6 kernel.

According to LynuxWorks, an AMCC PowerPC 440GX processor running without offload support will achieve less than 600 Mbps (60 percent wire speed) with full CPU capacity. In contrast, with BlueCat Linux offload support enabled, the same system can reach 850 Mbps (85 percent wire speed) with more than half of the CPU processor bandwidth remaining.

LynuxWorks's BlueCat Linux 5.1 BSP for the AMCC PowerPC 440GX supports AMCC's PowerPC reference card, LynuxWorks says. The BSP includes VisualLynux, SpyKer, and other development tools, and is available immediately, the company says. Further details are available on the company's website.

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