PowerPC support

G S Madhusudan madhu at terravault.net
Thu May 31 15:02:28 CEST 2012


This is in reply to Oliver Horst's posting on PPC support.

I am running a  research program to develop variants of L4 for
use in India at IIT-Madras.

http://www.iitm.ac.in/

Our target platforms are Freescale QorIQ processors
(P2041, P4080 and T4240 - with hypervisor support) and Cortex A9 processors.
We will initially use std dev boards but we are also developing our own
custom HW.

As someone pointed out it helps if someone has knowledge of PPC and kernels.
I have been hacking open source kernels since 1985 ! (BSD 4.x) and have been
working on PPC development since 1998, so while I do not underestimate the
task
it can be done. We also have access to Freescale's processor architecture
team so that helps a bit.
The project goal is actually ambitious since we want to replace Linux in
security sensitive
installations. I lead a Mach 3.0 based effort in the 90s along with IBM
research
and I am all too painfully aware of how uKernel based projects can fail !

I am also coordinating a processor development effort and
Fiasco+ Genode combination will also be ported on to that processor.
But it is a specialized custom processor so I suspect no one else
other than my team be interested in that port. But one aspect of teh
processor is aimed
at improving the MMU so that the cost of context switches can be improved.
If you cannot fix the OS, just fix the CPU ! Any thoughts on this aspect are
welcome.

On top of Fiasco we are developing UTM + router type appliances.
Later we plan to port the Drizzle RDBMS.

We would be glad to work with anyone with similar goals.
Currently it is a 4 member team along with 7 MTech students doing projects
on various
aspects of this research. We also have access to sufficient P2041 and p4080
boards.
Once our boards are ready (the 2041 boards i being PCB routed now), we plan
to create
an engineering curriculum using this HW and focusing on secure systems and
uKernel OSs.
the plan is to offer it to Indian engineering schools but anyone can use it.




Regards


G S Madhusudan
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