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Linux on ARMAt the end of last year, ARM announced ARMv8, the first ARM 64-bit ARM archtecture, and last week at ARM Techcon 2012, ARM announced the first ARMv8 cores: Cortex A53 and A57. But since there’s no silicon at the moment, what if you wanted to develop code running on ARMv8 before the hardware is available?

The answer is: Fast Models, a Virtual Platform (VP) to accelerate software development. This is especially important for ARMv8 since hardware is not expected to be available for another year. In this post, I’ll first show how to run “Hello World!” in ARMv8 fast models, then we’ll run ARM Linux 64-Bit (Aarch64) in the virtual platform.

ARMv8 Foundation Model

In order allow the developer’s community to program for ARMv8 (Cortex A53/A57 cores), ARM has made ARMv8 Foundation Model, a virtual platform, available free of charge.

This v8 Foundation model provides a basic ARMv8 platform environment suitable for running bare metal semi-hosted applications, and Linux OS booting. The platform provides:

  • An ARMv8 processor cluster with 1-4 CPUs
  • Up to 8GB of RAM
  • An optional 128MB of secure RAM
  • 4 PL011 UARTs exposed as host TCP sockets
  •  A network device model connected to host network resources
  • A block storage device implemented as a file on the host
  •  A small system register block

The V8 processor model implements:


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Linux on ARM