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LinuxUser kernel column #106

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Linux

In spite of the recent security attacks on kernel.org and other Linux community infrastructure, the show must go on and kernel development continued – albeit heavily disrupted at first by the various outages. That didn’t stop patches being posted adding support for two brand new architectures to the Linux kernel. One of these architecture patch postings targets a new DSP (Digital Signal Processor) design from Qualcomm called Hexagon that is commonly found in combination with a more powerful ARM processor within Qualcomm system-on-chip (SoC) processors – that’s two cores, both running different Linux kernels on the same chip.

Unlike other DSP ports of Linux, Qualcomm’s Hexagon is fully featured: it has support for SMP (symmetric multiprocessing) and uses a built-in hypervisor like many other newer chips (the Tilera Tile comes to mind as a recent example). But even more interesting than the Hexagon perhaps is the fact that Linux 3.1 will be the first shipping kernel to support the OpenRISC open source CPU architecture.

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