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Re: xscale port of fedora core 2



On Tue, 10 Aug 2004 21:53, Lennert Buytenhek <buytenh wantstofly org> wrote:
> > Is anyone making machines for general-purpose use based on the
> > IXP2400 core?  Or is it just for routers?
>
> [ For those not in the know: the IXP2400 is basically just an xscale
>   (which is Intel's version of ARM) processor, with some extra on-chip
>   processing logic for fast network processing.  The chip itself has
>   an integrated memory controller, 64b/66MHz PCI unit, 4Gbps SPI-3 bus,
>   and 8 on-chip processors which have a very simple instruction set
>   designed to do network-related things such as switching, routing,
>   firewalling, etc.  It can do full wire speed 4xGbps processing, and
>   its bigger brother, the IXP2800, does full wire speed 10xGbps.  ]

Sounds nice.  Those 8 on-chip processors, how fast are they and how complex 
are the operations that they can perform?  Could they be programmed to do AES 
or SHA1?  If so is there any idea of what the expected throughput of having 
all 8 processors doing crypto at the same time might be?

> We're thinking about having an ATX form factor board designed for it,
> which would be perfectly well possible since the chip has basically
> everything you'd need in a general purpose PC.  But no definite plans
> on that yet.

Would it be possible to make that SMP?  A machine with 4 of those CPUs having 
all 32 processors doing crypto could have some fun possibilities.  Especially 
as ARM CPUs take little power, a rack full of such machines could have some 
interesting uses.

> My motivation for porting Fedora to it was thus: most people who use
> the IXP2400 run some form of Montavista on it, but considering that
> these processors run at 600MHz or 700MHz and typically have between
> 256MB and 1GB of RAM, why not run a normal distro on it?  I'm used
> to RH/FC, and I want to have all the tools I have available on my
> desktop box on my 'embedded' platform as well.

Absolutely!

What do we have to do to start a Fedora port to an architecture that isn't 
supported by RHEL?  Are we ready to have fedora.us take on a new 
architecture?

> > > I would like to start submitting the (surprisingly small number of)
> > > needed patches so far back into Fedora, perhaps shifting my efforts
> > > towards FC3.  What do people here think about such an effort?
> >
> > Sounds good.  Any time you port to a new architecture you are likely to
> > shake out bugs that aren't obvious on i386.  I've found heaps of bugs
> > by porting code to other CPUs.
>
> Yeah.  There are lots of strange things to be found in userland.  Like
> openssl assuming that linux-elf == i386, for example.
>
> OK, so how do I go from here?  Should I just submit all my patches to
> bugzilla and wait?

If any bug that you find is likely to impact IA64 or AMD64 then it should be 
submitted to bugzilla.  If it is strictly only going to affect ARM then it 
may be best to submit it as a bug against the upstream code base instead.

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