porting linux on 16 bit controller

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Is it possible to port linux on 16 bit controller made by texas
instruments name "MSP430".How much ram and flash we needed to port

Re: porting linux on 16 bit controller
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In short, no. The biggest MSP430s have 60k flash and about 20k RAM - but
not both together. You can get minimal Linux implementations that will
boot (decomressed) from a floppy, but that's a meg to start with...

FreeRTOS, Salvo, uC/OsII, one or two others... but you'll have to trade
off RTOS resources against program space.

Paul Burke

Re: porting linux on 16 bit controller

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The msp430 is a great chip, but it's at least an order of magnitude too
small for even the smallest linux setups.  For linux proper, you need a
32-bit (or more) processor with an MMU.  For ucLinux, you can do without
the MMU, but it still requires 32-bit.  There is a project called ELKS
(embeddable linux kernel subset, IIRC) which works with 16-bit processors,
but it seems hardly worth the effort - if you want to use linux, there are
plenty of small and cheap 32-bit micros (mostly ARM or ColdFire) that work
with ucLinux.

There are also plenty of RTOS's for the msp430, both free and commercial.

Re: porting linux on 16 bit controller

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One gets to wonder why you would want to. What application do you have in

Many embedded applications require virtually no OS at all. In my own case I
tend to implement a Forth kernel, which is almost an OS as well as a
programming environment for building application specific languages, and
construct the application from there. The benefit for me is the ability to
easily certify from the metal upwards.

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Re: porting linux on 16 bit controller
I don't know, if it is really possible. But it is quite interesting and
I have thought about it, too. It would be the most energy efficient
linux micro :-) and relative powerfull as well (up to 16MIPS), if we
compare it to the 68EZ328 (http://www.uclinux.org/ucsimm /) with
typically 2MIPS. One would have to create a hardware abstraction layer
and try to simulate a 32 bit register with 2 of the (enough) existing 16
bit registers. Programm-memory and RAM has to be extended with I/O ports
parallel or SPI. Then one must write a kind of software MMU, that loads
and stores memory segments out of / to the external memory.


anurag wrote:
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Re: porting linux on 16 bit controller

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I think you should be looking at embedded linux documentation, they address
all the related issues there.
Site like:
http://www.embedded-linux.org /
this doc talks about how much their package needs, and what it does.
You can extrapulate how much of that you need, and guess roughly how much
mem you need:

Best regards,

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