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Wednesday, August 19 • 11:25am - 12:15pm
Turtles All The Way: Running Linux on Open Hardware - Rob Landley

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Patent expiration makes old technologies, such as the SuperH processor, interesting again. The last patent on sh2 (used in the Sega Saturn) expired in october 2014, and the last sh4 (dreamcast) patent expires in 2016. This lets us leverage existing kernel, toolchain, and userspace support on now royalty-free hardware.

We've implemented a cleanroom sh2-compatible processor design called "j2" with basic peripherals (serial, ethernet, mmc) in an FPGA, booted current Linux on it using existing open source toolchains, and released the VHDL under a BSD license. (For our next trick we're adding SMP support and a dozen DSPs, and manufacturing some ASIC versions.)

Our current website (and this demo) walks you through building/installing it on an s6 microboard (about $90 retail), but we're kickstarting a cheaper and more powerful FPGA in a raspberry PI 2 form factor.


Rob Landley

Programmer, se-instruments.com
I used to maintain busybox and a tinycc fork, currently maintain toybox and aboriginal linux, and do nommu.org and j-core.org in my day job at se-instruments.com, which is adding sensors to the world's electrical distribution grid so we can slowly wean cities off centralized generation to distributed solar and wind power. (In the process, we've reimplemented the old superh architecture from scratch now the patents have expired, and released it as... Read More →

Wednesday August 19, 2015 11:25am - 12:15pm

Attendees (34)