uCLinux for the APS3 family of processors announced by Cortus

Cortus is pleased to announce uCLinux for the APS3 family of processors. This version of Linux is ideally suited to low power, high performance, embedded systems. The APS3 family of processors are modern, powerful processors, specifically designed for embedded systems, featuring a tiny silicon footprint.

The APS3 architecture is ideally suited for uCLinux. The clean, uniform, architecture means that the ported kernel code is straightforward, easily implemented and understood. There are no hidden pitfalls due to inconsistencies in the architecture which could reduce performance or trip up unwary programmers. Developing application programs is uncomplicated and creating drivers for new peripherals and hardware is simple.

Thanks to the rational design of the APS3 and close coupling of the compiler developer team and hardware engineers the port employed very little assembly code, in contrast with most other ports, whilst retaining all performance and features. This means that the port is easy to understand and the development of additional drivers is facilitated.

An example of the advantages of the APS3 architecture is shown by the efficient implementation of system calls. By taking advantage of the “trap” instructions and flexible register set most system calls pass parameters without using the stack or external memory – ensuring no cycles are wasted.

 Mike Chapman, CEO of Cortus, said “We think that this must be the smallest ever CPU core running Linux. We are delighted to be able to offer a cost effective solution to our customers who require the power of the Linux operating system for their sophisticated applications. Using our core gains silicon space and power consumption and now with more operating system choices, our processor cores are a perfect fit with operating systems and this port allows our customers to provide a high quality, simple to use, solution to their customers.”

The Cortus APS3 is a 32-bit processor designed specifically for embedded systems. It features a tiny silicon footprint (10k gates, the same size as an 8051), very low power consumption, high code density and high performance. A full development environment is available, which is available for customization and branding for final customer use. The ecosystem around the APS3 is rich and well developed, it includes a full development environment (for C and C++), peripherals typical of embedded systems, bus bridges to ensure easy interfacing to other IP and system support and functions such as cache and memory management units. For the most demanding designs the APS3 can be used in a multi-core configuration. The APS3 processor core is currently in production in a range of products from security applications to ultra low power RF designs.


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