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Which 32 bit cores support full Linux?

Started by rickman April 17, 2010
My customer was talking about running PC Linux on a CPU in an FPGA.  I
believe the one big requirement is that there has to be a MMU.  Which
of the three FPGA vendor's cores are available with a Linux supported
MMU?  I cores I know about from vendors are uBlaze, NIOS and LM32.  I
don't think Actel has one, they seem to be using ARM.  Then of course
there are the gazillion open source cores at all levels of functioning
and support, everything from commercial grade to "What, me worry?"

Which of these are practical for a commercial project?

Rick
rickman wrote:
> My customer was talking about running PC Linux on a CPU in an FPGA. I > believe the one big requirement is that there has to be a MMU. Which > of the three FPGA vendor's cores are available with a Linux supported > MMU? I cores I know about from vendors are uBlaze, NIOS and LM32. I > don't think Actel has one, they seem to be using ARM. Then of course > there are the gazillion open source cores at all levels of functioning > and support, everything from commercial grade to "What, me worry?" > > Which of these are practical for a commercial project?
AFAIK, MICO32 seems to work (Seb bourdeauduc could confirm) but he has switched to another Xilinx-hosted core clone that is a bit faster for his taste (IIRC), still with Linux. OTOH, it's not clear : does you client want a PC or Linux ? because there are (quite) cheap embedded x86 modules around. I use to play with ETX and PC104, there are new and even smaller full-featured modules from several manufacturers (like Qseven form factor, ask me so I send you pictures of the real stuff) don't waste a FPGA and your time for Linux. Use existing standard plugable modules...
> Rick
yg -- http://ygdes.com / http://yasep.org
On Apr 17, 9:58=A0am, rickman <gnu...@gmail.com> wrote:
> My customer was talking about running PC Linux on a CPU in an FPGA. =A0I > believe the one big requirement is that there has to be a MMU. =A0Which > of the three FPGA vendor's cores are available with a Linux supported > MMU? =A0I cores I know about from vendors are uBlaze, NIOS and LM32. =A0I > don't think Actel has one, they seem to be using ARM. =A0Then of course > there are the gazillion open source cores at all levels of functioning > and support, everything from commercial grade to "What, me worry?" > > Which of these are practical for a commercial project? > > Rick
Hello Rick, Starting with version 7, the MicroBlaze processor can have an MMU included. Prior to that, you could use the uC version of Linux, which is designed for processors without an MMU. That support has been merged into the 2.6.? version of the kernel. Take a look at http://www.petalogix.com/ for more information about a supported distribution of Linux for the MicroBlaze. Regards, John McCaskill www.FasterTechnology.com
rickman wrote:
> My customer was talking about running PC Linux on a CPU in an FPGA. I > believe the one big requirement is that there has to be a MMU. Which > of the three FPGA vendor's cores are available with a Linux supported > MMU? I cores I know about from vendors are uBlaze, NIOS and LM32. I > don't think Actel has one, they seem to be using ARM. Then of course > there are the gazillion open source cores at all levels of functioning > and support, everything from commercial grade to "What, me worry?" > > Which of these are practical for a commercial project? > > Rick
Hi, Altera do have a demo of linux on Nios on the NEEK kit, it includes a an LCD display and other peripherals.
"rickman" <gnuarm@gmail.com> wrote in message 
news:4fb11a6d-d334-48ae-911c-5c6f006987a7@s22g2000vbb.googlegroups.com...
> My customer was talking about running PC Linux on a CPU in an FPGA. I > believe the one big requirement is that there has to be a MMU. Which > of the three FPGA vendor's cores are available with a Linux supported > MMU? I cores I know about from vendors are uBlaze, NIOS and LM32. I > don't think Actel has one, they seem to be using ARM. Then of course > there are the gazillion open source cores at all levels of functioning > and support, everything from commercial grade to "What, me worry?" > > Which of these are practical for a commercial project? > > Rick
Check out the Leon3 core (Sparc V8), although not in your favourite language it is very well supported (includes Linux). http://www.gaisler.com/cms/ Hans. www.ht-lab.com
Hi,

HT-Lab wrote:
> Check out the Leon3 core (Sparc V8), although not in your favourite language it > is very well supported (includes Linux). > http://www.gaisler.com/cms/
it's a good but *big* core, it needs lost of gates and it's not very speedy compared to the average soft cores. So it's going to cost Rick's client too much, an add-on module with an Atmel ARM9 would be faster and cheaper to get on the field... but it's only my opinion. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soft_processor has a quite good list, it is missing several like Hans' 8086 clone but otherwise worth a check. Rick, please keep us informed about your choice and the reasons that motivated it :-)
> Hans. > www.ht-lab.com
yg -- http://ygdes.com / http://yasep.org
On 17 Apr, 17:03, whygee <y...@yg.yg> wrote:
> rickman wrote: > > My customer was talking about running PC Linux on a CPU in an FPGA. =A0=
I
> > believe the one big requirement is that there has to be a MMU. =A0Which > > of the three FPGA vendor's cores are available with a Linux supported > > MMU? =A0I cores I know about from vendors are uBlaze, NIOS and LM32. =
=A0I
> > don't think Actel has one, they seem to be using ARM. =A0Then of course > > there are the gazillion open source cores at all levels of functioning > > and support, everything from commercial grade to "What, me worry?" > > > Which of these are practical for a commercial project? > > AFAIK, MICO32 seems to work
There isn't an MMU for Mico32. Jon
Am 17.04.2010 16:58, schrieb rickman:
> My customer was talking about running PC Linux on a CPU in an FPGA. I > believe the one big requirement is that there has to be a MMU. Which > of the three FPGA vendor's cores are available with a Linux supported > MMU? I cores I know about from vendors are uBlaze, NIOS and LM32. I > don't think Actel has one, they seem to be using ARM. Then of course > there are the gazillion open source cores at all levels of functioning > and support, everything from commercial grade to "What, me worry?" > > Which of these are practical for a commercial project?
The OpenRISC 1000 is a free architecture that can run Linux and has been used in commercially ASICs and FPGAs. There is a GNU toolchain (i.e. gcc port, etc). Philipp
rickman <gnuarm@gmail.com> writes:

> My customer was talking about running PC Linux on a CPU in an FPGA. I > believe the one big requirement is that there has to be a MMU. Which > of the three FPGA vendor's cores are available with a Linux supported > MMU? I cores I know about from vendors are uBlaze, NIOS and LM32. I > don't think Actel has one, they seem to be using ARM. Then of course > there are the gazillion open source cores at all levels of functioning > and support, everything from commercial grade to "What, me worry?" > > Which of these are practical for a commercial project?
Certainly Microblaze has an MMU suitable for full-blown Linux use, and NIOS also does I believe. Cheers, Martin -- martin.j.thompson@trw.com TRW Conekt - Consultancy in Engineering, Knowledge and Technology http://www.conekt.net/electronics.html