News Archive (1999-2012) | 2013-current at LinuxGizmos | Current Tech News Portal |    About   

Timesys adds LinuxLink support for MIPS SoC, announces free embedded Linux training series

May 11, 2011 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 4 views

Timesys announced LinuxLink support for PMC-Sierra's MIPS-based WinPath3-SuperLite networking system on chip (SoC), a scaled-down version of the WinPath3. The company also announced a free Timesys University embedded Linux training series, starting with classes focusing on home automation with the Freescale i.MX51, medical devices employing the i.MX53, and internet radios using the Texas Instruments AM3517.

In March of last year, Timesys announced that its LinuxLink commercial software development framework for building custom embedded Linux based products supported the WinPath3 networking processor from Wintegra. In November, Wintegra was acquired by PMC-Sierra, and now Timesys has extended LinuxLink support to the company's WinPath3-SuperLite variant.

Whereas the Winpath3 offers dual MIPS 34K cores running at 450MHz, and supplies up to twelve multi-threaded data path cores –which PMC-Sierra refers to as protocol processors — the lower-cost SuperLite version offers a single 400MHz MIPS core with six protocol processors. The WinPath3-SuperLite also lacks an L2 cache and supports 768KB of DDR2/3 memory instead of 2.5MB, says PMC-Sierra.

WinPath3-SuperLite block diagram

(Click to enlarge)

The WinPath3-SuperLite also has a smaller 27×27 package than the WinPath3, supports six gigabit Ethernet ports instead of 10, and has 24 fast Ethernet ports instead of 72. No XAUI Or SRIO support is provided, and the device lacks the WinPath3's dual SPI3 interfaces, as well. A single security engine is offered instead of two, says PMC-Sierra.

The WinPath3-SuperLite is aimed at cost-sensitive, communications applications including wireless and advanced telecom system applications such as mobile backhaul, says PMC-Sierra. (A full spec comparison of the two chips is found in a link at the end of this story, and more on the WinPath3 architecture and available reference board is available in our previous coverage.)

Timesys' LinuxLink subscription for the WinPath3-SuperLite is based on the 2.6.29 Linux kernel, and integrates drivers for the reference board peripherals, says the company. Users can choose from the latest GNU-based toolchains enabled with uClibc and glibc libraries, optimized for the MIPS32R2 instruction set, says Timesys.

LinuxLink is available in a new free Web Edition version, as well as the traditional, subscription-based desktop/online versions. Both versions offer collections of Linux sources, gathered and updated from thousands of community sources, and patched and configured for a variety of processors and development kits. LinuxLink also offers Linux kernels, toolchains, debuggers, the TimeStorm Eclipse IDE (integrated development environment), and the Web Factory build system, among other features.

Stated Liviu Pinchas, PMC-Sierra's director, technical marketing, WIN division, "With LinuxLink, our customers can take full advantage of the WinPath3-SuperLite advanced architecture, enabling them to create Linux based solutions for the networking and communications market segments and achieve short time-to-market cycles."

Timesys University online embedded training announced

Embedded Linux training has long been a part of Timesys' mission, as in the  Atmel ARM9 home automation webinars it offered in 2009. Now, Timesys has formalized these efforts into a free "Timesys University" offering.

This series of online educational tracks is designed to help developers shorten the learning curve associated with building embedded Linux projects, says Timesys. Each track will focus on building an embedded Linux based product for a featured processor, and will offer both basic concepts and hands-on experience, says the company.

The Timesys University program is said to include:

  • detailed review of the capabilities of the underlying hardware
  • complete instructions, from defining requirements to designing and deploying Linux
  • hands-on lab to create BSPs/SDKs using Timesys products and technologies with popular processors/boards
  • free Timesys LinuxLink Web Edition account
  • access to expert instructors to answer specific questions

Each track consists of four 60-minute sessions, delivered bi-weekly. Students use Timesys LinuxLink tools to complete the tasks shown by the instructor. Registrants who attend three or more sessions of track two will be entered into a drawing for a Logic PD Zoom AM3517 EVM Development Kit.

The first Timesys University track, entitled "Building a connected home automation device with the Digi ConnectCore Wi-i.MX51 using LinuxLink," wrapped up in early-April with a giveaway drawing for a ConnectCore Wi-i.MX51 Development Kit. The track, which is still available, explores development using Qt Embedded for Linux to design a UI based home automation application using the Digi ConnectCore Wi-i.MX51 module and kit, which are based on Freescale's Cortex-A8-based i.MX51 SoC. The class also shows how to work with integrated GPIO-attached LEDs and Bluetooth devices.

Currently, two additional tracks are planned. Track two — "Building an internet radio with the TI Sitara AM3517 using LinuxLink" — will begin May 12. Track three, which will commence in late June, is entitled "Building a rich user interface based medical device with the Freescale i.MX53 using LinuxLink," and will commence in late June.  


Users can start developing prototypes using LinuxLink for PMC-Sierra's WinPath3-SuperLite SoC by registering for a free Web Edition account, says Timesys. Additional information about LinuxLink for WinPath2, WinPath3, and WinPath3-SuperLite processors can be found here.

More information on the WinPath3-SuperLite may be found at this PMC-Sierra product page.

Registration and more information on the Timesys University sessions may be found at the company's Timesys University page.

This article was originally published on and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

Comments are closed.