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Re: Retiring the sparc32 port

Chris Newport wrote:

And LEON processor ? A sparc V8 that can be written in a FPGA ? It runs with Linux. Berkeley university has a work in progress on a super computer that uses sparc32 too.

Why does a Linux distribution need the latest bleeding edge kernel ?
With no new hardware to support it should be easy to put together a
distribution with the last known good kernel and the latest applications.

If Gaisler Research want to ensure that the kernel is maintained (and tested) for v8 processors then they had better raise their head above the parapet, fast. I notice that the SnapGear distro they use has both 2.0 and 2.6 kernels (2.6.21 as of today), if they want 2.6 to survive on this platform then they'd better say.

Now as far as Sun is concerned... I had it put to me that Sun were unable to support open-source projects targeted at hardware older than the T1, because of their contractual relationship with SPARC International. Now that might have been oxdroppings, but the fact remains that if SPARC International have any interest in preserving v8 then they need to say so.

All of these- Gaisler, CyberGuard, SPARC International- are commercial players, and can reasonably be expected to have at least some interest in preserving the v8. If they want to succeed in that then they need to make some sort of commitment to offset Sun, who by now are quite unequivocal about wanting to sell new hardware rather than helping people exploit what they already have or can afford to tinker with.

Mark Morgan Lloyd
markMLl .AT. telemetry.co .DOT. uk

[Opinions above are the author's, not those of his employers or colleagues]

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