PowerPC notebook: New specifications and development status

Hardware: New specifications and development status

The manufacturer is going forward and defines the notebook specifications. So we are reaching step by step the next milestone.

Finally we give publically the specification of the processor family that our notebook will adopt! It will use a Freescale processor based on a e6500 64-bit Power Architecture® Core Technology that includes Altivec technology with 16 GFLOPS per core.

e6500 core

Freescale e6500 core

It was decided like this because the manufacturer have found a new partner interested in this architecture. Thanks to the collaboration with this new partner there are now more opportunities to keep the price down for our Power Architecture Notebook. This is a great news.

The e6500 processor family is already supported from various operating systems like GNU/Linux, QNX and others. So this could increase the user base for the notebook and allow us to keep lower costs.

The adoption of this processor family gives us access to interesting capabilities like energy management which is very important for a notebook. We’ll have access to 4 cores (8 virtual core thanks to the dual threaded cores) and Altivec instructions necessary for high performance multimedia applications.

The notebook will have 2 memory slots for DDR3L RAM (low power).

The notebook will have USB2 and USB3 ports.

freescale e6500 core devkit

Freescale e6500 core devkit

Software: Debian 64 bit and Freescale Support

Freescale have supported us giving us an e6500 development board so we could start to test Debian PowerPC 64bit on the same processor core that will be in our notebook.

Konstantinos is preparing a Debian PowerPC 64bit installation image (ppc64). Basically, debian-installer has hooks for adding new platforms support. There are already PowerPC (32-bit) and ppc64el hooks/configs for debian-installer so he have copied PowerPC and merged some stuff from ppc64el changing where necessary to the correct architecture (ppc64). Endianness and platform information are also supported by debian-installer.

Soon we will start testing on the Freescale e6500 core processor, as soon as the Debian Powerpc 64bit install image is ready. When it’s done we’ll share the file so everyone can download it and test the installation on other 64 bit PowerPC machines.

Web site localization

Now is online the Polish localization thanks to Adam and soon we’ll complete the translations for the other already published localizations.

Meetings to organize

In June we will do meetings with all the people that are collaborating or that have confirmed their intention to collaborate, if you want to collaborate you need first at least to subscribe our newsletter and you will will receive even the Survey where you have the possibility to activate yourself!

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9 thoughts on “PowerPC notebook: New specifications and development status

  1. Do you know what GPU to use yet? I know there are drivers for NVIDIA GPU’s for PPC64, though those are for old GPU’s and Teslas. And AMD drivers are part of the Linux kernel now, but I’m not sure how well they’d work on PPC.

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