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Linux Kernel Support Coming For Billions Of Chips

Hardware

Published on 22 February 2013 12:16 PM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware
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The Linux 3.9 kernel will likely be introducing support for the line of Synopsys ARC700 processors. More than one billion ARC-based chips are shipped annually by Synopsys licensees and now the mainline Linux kernel can finally begin tapping this hardware.

Last year was the announcement of mainline kernel patches for bringing the Linux kernel to the Synopsys ARC700 and the patches were being updated for several months. Now Synopsys is trying to merge the ARC CPU support for Linux 3.9. Older ARC processor lines have had Linux kernel patches available in years prior.

The Synopsys DesignWare ARC processor cores are 32-bit RISC CPUs for SoCs thatr are found in many consumer devices like TV set-top boxes and media players. The company claims, "over 170 customers worldwide who collectively ship more than 1 billion ARC-based chips annually."

The ARC700 that's supported by these kernel patches is described as "of 32-bit RISC processor cores are ideal for deeply embedded applications and DSP tasks where high performance and low power consumption is required. To address a wide range of processing needs, the DesignWare ARC 700 family includes flexible memory options such as single-cycle Closely Coupled Memories (CCMs) for instructions and data, as well as configurable I-cache and D-cache. The DesignWare ARC 700 family offers a broad range of processor solutions that enable system-on-chip (SoC) designers to create a wide range of embedded microprocessors that are optimized for their specific target applications. These solutions include the DesignWare ARC 710D, ARC 725D, ARC 750D and ARC 770D."

The pull request for this new ARC CPU support for Linux 3.9 can be found on the kernel mailing list.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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