Power.org releases embedded platform standard - Embedded.com

Power.org releases embedded platform standard

LONDON — The organization that promotes and develops standards for Power Architecture technology, Power.org, has released the standard for Embedded Power Architecture Platform Requirements (ePAPR) that was developed collaboratively by Freescale Semiconductor, IBM, MontaVista and Wind River.

The standard speeds software porting and reduces development costs for operating system and platform designers by defining clear interfaces between embedded software components such as boot firmware, bootloaders, operating systems, and hypervisors.

“ePAPR, while a powerful standard in itself, is a basic building block that has the potential to drive virtualization platforms and a host of innovations in the years to come,” said Power.org Marketing Committee Chair Fawzi Behmann, in a statement.

The standard uses a “device tree” to describe the basic properties or characteristics for physical devices in a system. ePAPR-compliant systems load a device tree into a client program’s memory, enabling that program to access system hardware it might not otherwise have been able to dynamically detect.

This abstraction capability shields software and systems engineers from much of the underlying hardware complexity, making it easier, faster and more reliable to port software and to build Power Architecture-based embedded systems. The ePAPR also specifies standard mechanisms for booting systems with multiple CPUs.

The standard provides a complete interface definition, between boot programs and client programs, and defines minimum system requirements to facilitate the development of a wide variety of embedded systems based on Power Architecture CPUs. Stuart Yoder, software architect at Freescale, said the chip group “regards the ePAPR standard as an essential tool in developing the hypervisor interface for our multicore Power Architecture products.”

Earlier this month, Power.org released of Version 1.0 of its common debug application programming interface (API) specification.

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