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Embedded?? unleashes new standard

Posted: 11 Dec 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:specification ePAPR? standard CPU? has released the standard for Embedded Power Architecture Platform Requirements (ePAPR), which speeds software porting and reduces development costs for OS and platform designers. By defining clear interfaces between embedded software components such as boot firmware, bootloaders, operating systems and hypervisors, the ePAPR specification enables system designers to create standardized platforms.

Various software components must typically interact to initialize and boot a computer system. For example, boot firmware might perform a low-level system hardware initialization before passing control to the OS, bootloader or hypervisor. Consistent interfaces and conventions facilitate the interactions between these software components. The ePAPR standard provides a complete interface definition, between boot programs and client programs, and defines minimum system requirements to facilitate the development of a wide variety of embedded systems based on Power Architecture CPUs.

The ePAPR standard uses a "device tree" to describe the basic properties or characteristics for physical devices in a system. ePAPR-compliant systems load a device tree into a client program's memory, enabling that program to access system hardware that it might not otherwise have been able to dynamically detect. This abstraction capability shields software and systems engineers from much of the underlying hardware complexity, making it easier, faster and more reliable to port software and to build Power Architecture-based embedded systems. The ePAPR also specifies standard mechanisms for booting systems with multiple CPUs.

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