MIPS Malta

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Revision as of 19:47, 9 October 2012 by Sjhill (talk | contribs) (Linux support)
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Malta with 20Kc core card

The MIPS Malta is an ATX form factor evaluation board made by MIPS Technologies. It supports a large variety of processor options; common processor types are 4Kc, 4KEc, 5Kc or a 24Kc core.


The Malta board has four 32-bit PCI slots that are usually clocked at 33MHz and onboard Am79c970 PC-Net PCI Ethernet. It has Intel 82371AB PIIX4 (aka Southbridge) onboard which provides two PCI IDE (one for CompactFLASH socket), USB 1.1, and conventional PC-compatible peripherials : two i8259 IAC, i8254 timer, mc146818 RTC and CMOS e.t.c. The Malta has also a SuperIO chip behind a PIIX4 PCI/ISA bridge wich provides 16550 compatible DUART, LPT, floppy controller and PS/2 keyboard and mouse.

Malta board also contains Crystal Semiconductors CS4281 AC'97 PCI sound and AMR riser.

The Malta can operate in big endian or little endian mode. This is accomplished by a BIGEND switch on the board.

The 4Mbyte FLASH at the 0xbe000000 contains YAMON, YAMON's environment and has a free space for user applications.

Core cards

Malta board may be equipped with various "core cards". A core card includes a CPU, a system controller (aka Northbridge) and SDRAM module.

CoreCard CORID CPUs Controller
QED5261 0 QED RM5261 GT64120
CoreLV 1 MIPS32 4K, MIPS64 5K GT64120
CoreBonito64 2 QED RM5261, RM7061A Bonito64
Core20K 3 MIPS64 20Kc, MIPS64 25Kf Bonito64
CoreFPGA 4 MIPS32 4K, MIPS64 5K GT64120
CoreMSC 5 . .
CoreEMUL 6 . .
CoreFPGA2 7 . MIPS SOC-it 101
CoreFPGAR2 8 . GT64120
CoreFPGA3 9 . MIPS SOC-it 101


Malta uses YAMON for its firmware. YAMON determines various Core card models and their endianness automatically. The YAMON image contains Big and Little endian parts and "magic" code to determine the current endian.

There is RedBoot port to Malta too.

Linux support

The Malta is fully supported by Linux 2.6 and current Linux 3.x kernels. The main Git tree hosted on linux-mips.org is geared towards bleeding-edge development. There is a separate MIPS Technologies tree that is geared towards absolute stability on Malta as well as the SEAD-3 platform. It is actively maintained by MIPS Technologies, Inc.


Malta board is the most popular platform for MIPS full-system emulation.

GXemul supports MIPS Malta CoreLV (CoreID=1) well enough to run unmodified Linux 2.4 and 2.6 kernels (except PCI and LAN stuff).

QEMU also support MIPS Malta architecture.

External links