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Intel Technology Journal: Porting Operating System Kernels to the IA-64 Architecture...

Dec 25, 1999, 16:02 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Kathy Carver, Stephan Zeisset, Joshua LeVasseur, Chuck Fleckenstein)


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"To provide additional vehicles for pre-silicon validation and post-silicon debug of the Intel Itanium[tm] processor, we ported two operating system kernels to the IA-64 architecture. The Mach3* microkernel was ported first, followed by the Linux* 2.2.0 kernel, and these have helped track the overall health of the Itanium RTL model for the last two years. These operating system (OS) kernels also helped pre-silicon performance analysis and compiler-generated code analysis."

"The Mach3 kernel (the IA-64 port was called Munster internally) was ported because it contained features similar to Microsoft Windows NT*, such as tasks, threads, interprocess communication (IPC), and symmetric multiprocessing (SMP). Mach3* allowed us to exercise parts of the Itanium model in a similar way to Microsoft Windows NT, but at a reduced scale and without device support."

"Linux (the IA-64 port was called IPD-Linux internally) was ported because its source is readily available and 64-bit clean, it is highly configurable, and it would exercise the model in a different way than Mach3. We started with a released 2.2.0 version of the source and ported the kernel using a non-GNU C Compiler (GCC). The difficulty of porting the Linux kernel without GCC made the task more challenging."

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