Allwinner SUNIV Old ARM9-Based SoCs Worked On For Upstream Linux Kernel Support

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 28 January 2018 at 07:55 AM EST. Add A Comment
From the mid-2000's to 2011 Allwinner was marketing their F-Series processors with ARM9 32-bit RISC processors while finally in 2018 these SoCs might have upstream Linux kernel support.

Linux SunXI developer Icenowy Zheng last week sent out the initial kernel patches for supporting these "SUNIV" Allwinner ARM9 SoCs.

"The same die is packaged differently, come with different co-packaged DRAM or shipped with different SDK; and then made many model names: F23, F25, F1C100A, F1C100S, F1C200S, F1C500, F1C600, R6, etc. These SoCs all share a common feature set and are packaged similarly (eLQFP128 for SoCs without co-packaged DRAM, QFN88 for with DRAM)," Icenowy wrote.

The F1C100 is so old it was designed with SDR memory and for supporting 720p video decoding while at least the "higher end" F-Series SoCs moved onto DDR and DDR2 albeit is still very underpowered these days even for their original use-case of in-car infotainment systems, E-ink readers, multimedia boxes, etc. Originally these Allwinner SoCs didn't even use Linux but rather Allwinner's Melis 2.0 operating system.

Supporting these Allwinner SUNIV SoCs with the mainline Linux kernel comes in at just over one thousand lines of new code on top of all of the existing kernel code carried out by the Linux-SunXI project. We will see what comes of the upstreaming prospects for these old Allwinner ARMv5-based SoCs in 2018.

The current kernel patches are available from the kernel mailing list.
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