PowerPC 40x Support Slated For Removal From The Linux Kernel

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 10 December 2020 at 06:27 AM EST. 18 Comments
Following the original, first-generation PowerPC CPU support being removed in the Linux 5.10 kernel, the original PowerPC 400 series is also looking like it will now be removed as well from the kernel.

Patches were sent out for PowerPC 40x platform removal from the mainline kernel. This is for the early PowerPC 40x series parts but doesn't go as far as removing the newer but still old PowerPC 440 series. The PowerPC 40x platforms of Acadia, Kilauea, Klondike, Makalu, OBS600, and Walnut are all set for removal as part of this clearing of the 40x-specific code.

This retirement is coming as these PowerPC 40x platforms have been orphaned for "many years" already in the mainline kernel without anyone caring for the code.

Dropping this PowerPC 400 series (pre-440) support allows freeing up a few thousand lines of code within the kernel tree. PowerPC 403 was the first of the affected CPU support being removed, which dates back to 1994 and featured clock speeds up to 80MHz. The PowerPC 40x chips were found in set-top boxes, thin clients, and other devices.

The patches removing the PowerPC 40x support from the kernel can be found on the kernel mailing list.
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