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IP35 is the CPU board in Silicon Graphics Origin 300, Origin 3000, Onyx 3000, Fuel and Tezro systems. It is the successor of the IP27 architecture of Onyx 2, Origin 200 and Origin 2000 and the last MIPS-based server architecture of Silicon Graphics. Its successor is the IA-64-based Altix series.
IP35 is not yet supported by Linux. A port initially targeting only the Origin 300 has been started. So far the kernel is booting uniprocessor and making it all the way to mounting the root filesystem which fails because there is no functioning PCI support yet. PCI is working to the degree were it can detect devices but its resource management is still broken, interrupt routing does not exist and the kernel fails to read the NIC (Number-In-a-Can which contains the MAC address) of IOC3 cards. This is a bit a complex topic and IP27 never got that right as well, so this time it's being sorted for real.
A plea for hardware
The development effort could be helped by getting more hardware into the hands of developers. If you have Origin or Onyx hardware or parts that you want to get rid of, don't junk it, don't squeeze out the last few bucks from eBay but get it into the hands of a capable hacker! Another slightly mad but interesting option would be made available a virtual or an actual MIPS based data center to do a build farm on which we can target and conduct research, development and tests. Donors will be made publicly noted if they are willing to be so and regular build jobs will be monitored with small publicity for their kindness in a public site.
As not expected differently from any large vendor is hard to come by. Aside of negotiating there are several other leads:
- Reverse engineering. Dubious legality and painful, so least preferable
- Various IP35 bits hidden in the code for the already supported IP27.
- Various bits of information from published information such as header files.
- Manuals from http://techpubs.sgi.com/:
- The history tree on kernel.org contains support for the Origin 3000's ill-fated IA-64-based evil brother. It is largely based on the same custom chips, so is a source of documentation and semi-working GPL code. The machine never made it to the market and so in changeset c6bacd5010ec2db31aebbac71bc93540f40d2a9d support for it got deleted.
Hardware documentation and patents
While hardware documentation still is not public a number of patents has been filed on technology used by Origins and its descendents - and for once these patents are actually readable. There are 5,915.104 and 6,604,161for the BRIDGE ASIC and 6,282,195 for the XBOW ASIC.
- US Patent 5,915.104 on BRIDGE as PDF
- US Patent 6,604,161 on BRIDGE as PDF
- US Patent 6,282,195 on XBOW as PDF
- OpenBSD support for IP35: http://www.openbsd.org/cgi-bin/cvsweb/src/sys/arch/sgi/