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Re: [MirageOS-devel] an open arm+fpga board

On 6 Jan 2015, at 15:56, Dario Teixeira <darioteixeira@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Hi,
>> I shouldn't be surprised when a crowdfunding thing actually works, but the 
>> Novena one just sent me a shipping notification and turns out to be real!  
>> Let 
>> me know if anyone in Cambridge wants to play with it next week when it 
>> arrives:
>> https://www.crowdsupply.com/kosagi/novena-open-laptop
>> Andy, Justin, sounds like a good rump kernel + Mirage target too...
> Pardon the Mirage-noob question, but can nowadays Mirage be run on Cortex-A9
> processors such as the one powering the Novena?  I was under the (perhaps
> mistaken) impression that Xen required an ARM processor with virtualization
> extensions, such as the Cortex A7 or A15.  If so, then this would open up
> plenty of cheap but fairly powerful boards out there -- awesome!

Xen requires the ARM virtualization extensions, but Mirage doesn't require Xen.
It just needs some suitable library base that has device drivers for the
target platform to act as a "boot loader". 

We've talked about doing a Mirage+Rump Kernel integration for just this
purpose, which would lead to Mirage running on any supported NetBSD target
as a result. Gabor Pali also worked on a FreeBSD kernel module version which
we really need to upstream to our main trees at some point.

(And, to state the obvious, Mirage compiles to good old native Unix ARM
binaries as well thanks to OCaml's native code support for these platforms).

> Btw, the Freescale iMX6 chipset used in the Novena is pretty well supported
> under Linux these days (I have a little ARM device based around it), and it
> has given me fewer headaches than some Rockchip chipsets which shall remain
> unmentioned...

Fantastic -- money well spent last year.  I dont even remember buying it :)

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