RISC-V Hopes To Get In Linux 4.15, OpenRISC Adds SMP Support
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 14 November 2017 at 12:04 AM EST. 5 Comments
HARDWARE --
There's potentially a lot happening within the open-source RISC space for the Linux 4.15 kernel merge window.

First is updates to the OpenRISC architecture, the open-source ISA from the OpenCores community that to date is still most commonly deployed on FPGA implementations. With OpenRISC for the upstream Linux 4.15 the big addition is initial SMP (Symmetric Multi-Processing) support.

The architecture changes for initial OpenRISC SMP support is now in position with this pull request as well as some documentation changes and other general maintenance.

Meanwhile, RISC-V is hoping to see mainline with Linux 4.15. We've known for a while now about their mainline ambitions for 4.15 and a pull request was sent today, but it remains to be seen yet if Linus Torvalds will pull it for this merge window.

RISC-V has been seeing some commercial interest and support recently, but even if this code gets pulled for Linux 4.15, it won't support any actual hardware. The RISC-V port prepared for Linux 4.15 is just the initial architecture code but without any device drivers. The RISC-V hardware drivers are still being worked on and revised while the developers acknowledge they won't be ready for mainline for a while. This architecture code is also considered a work-in-progress.

The developers hope the initial RISC-V support will get into Linux 4.15 though so they can begin working on upstreaming their glibc architecture support. The RISC-V pull request can be seen here.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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