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Re: MIPS CPU in palmtop

Subject: Re: MIPS CPU in palmtop
From: Warner Losh <>
Date: Sat, 18 Jul 1998 23:17:39 -0600
In-reply-to: Your message of "Fri, 17 Jul 1998 10:51:18 +0200." <000601bdb163$e9785ce0$0100a8c0@oskar>
References: <000601bdb163$e9785ce0$0100a8c0@oskar>
In message <000601bdb163$e9785ce0$0100a8c0@oskar> "Oskar Liljeblad" writes:
: I'm considering buying a handheld PC, and porting linux to it. This
: particular computer uses a 32bit Philips PR31700 (TwoChipPic HCG) CPU which
: is MIPS R3000A-based. Will Linux/MIPS support this processor?

Depends.  How different from the R3000 is it really?

I knwo that in my investigations of getting a palm top with the NEC
Vr4111 that this beast is quite a bit different than the current
kernel deals with.  While the differences are in many trivial areas,
they are still differences that need to be coded for.  Also, unless
you can get docs on the various devices that are either integrated
into the chip or are part of the chip set inside this box, then you
are going to have problems too.

Also of note is how does one develop a kernel for these things?  How
does one download kernel code?  Do you want the kernel to take the
place of WinCE, or have WinCE as a "server" for your kernel?  When you
load a kernel that is bad onto your box, how do you load your last
known good one back on?  One solution is to have boot roms that can
boot different addresses in the ROMs.  This may have some problems,
however, with where the ROMs are mapped and the exception handling
addresses, I've not looked.

I think that getting a development system together to download the
necessary bootstraps to WinCE may be challanging as well.  Or at least
expensive.  So far my investigations have lead me to believe that you
need at least $1000 worth of software to even begin to develop for
these beasts.

There are lots of interesting problems getting this to work.  I'm not
at all sure they can be overcome.

But it sure would be way, wicked cool if they could be.

Me, I have my eye on the PalmTop based machines that are built around
the Vr4111 and Vrc4717, mostly because I have fairly complete docs in


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