MIPS Loongson 3 Seeing Support Improvements With Linux 5.7
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 26 March 2020 at 03:31 PM EDT. 3 Comments
For those managing to get their hands on a recently released Loongson 3A4000/3B4000 or even older Loongson 3 MIPS64 processors, improving the support is on the way with the upcoming Linux 5.7 kernel.

Queued as part of the MIPS architecture work for Linux 5.7 are a number of Loongson improvements, in particular for the Loongson 3 series.

The additions for this next version of the Linux kernel include a generic Device Tree for Loongson 3 devices, Desktop Management Interface (DMI) for MIPS (generic to the MIPS architecture but contributed By Loongson engineers), a Loongson I/O local interrupt controller driver, a HyperTransport PIC controller driver, and various other changes currently staging within the MIPS development tree. The generic Loongson 3 DTS support should help in allowing mainline Linux images to run nicely on more devices.

Unfortunately these MIPS64 desktop systems are still difficult to acquire outside of China. The latest Loongson 3 processors feature four MIPS64r5 cores with clock speeds up to 2.0GHz and fabbed on a 28nm process. So while the hardware is fairly libre friendly, it's another case of not being performant class hardware for most use-cases.
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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 20,000 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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