Linux 5.14 To Support The OpenPOWER Microwatt Soft CPU Core

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 23 June 2021 at 07:00 AM EDT. 5 Comments
Announced two years ago was the OpenPOWER Microwatt as an FPGA-based soft CPU core.

This open-source soft processor core complies with the Power ISA 3.0 instruction set and can be run on various FPGA hardware. Microwatt marks the first processor written from scratch using the open Power ISA 3.0 specification and serves as one of the organization's reference designs. While a basic design and catered for FPGA usage, it's going to see 130nm chip fabrication this year if all goes well.

In any case, the news today is that the forthcoming Linux 5.14 is set to add support for the Microwatt.

Queued within powerpc-next is the Microwatt platform support, the MicroWatt DeviceTree, and various other patches for enabling the OpenPOWER Microwatt support.

This initial support is good enough for handling FPGA implementations of Microwatt while the patches do reiterate the early state of the platform with not yet having any SMP, VMX, VSX, transactional memory, or other features found with mature POWER hardware.

The Microwatt sources written in VHDL can be found via GitHub.
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