cheap RTEMS/PowerPC platform [was: Re: Open Desktop Workstation]

Karel Gardas kgardas at
Wed Aug 24 16:42:12 UTC 2005

On Wed, 24 Aug 2005, Joel Sherrill <joel at> wrote:

>>> Hmm i have no idea what the mentioned hardware cost, so i can't answer
>>> that question. But apple's mac mini is about 500USD which isn't that
>>> expensive, when you want a general PowerPC.
>> The problem is that IIRC it does not even provide serial port which is 
>> needed for serial console. Pegasos seems to provide one RS-232.
>> BTW: Anobody here get RTEMS working on MOAB or CerfCube?
> The Avnet evaluation board for the Coldfire that had a BSP submitted
> recently is inexpensive.  Do they have any PowerPC boards like that?
> The PegasusPPC mentioned CHRP.  The EP1A and MVME2100 appear to be
> CHRP.  Would one of the existing BSPs come close to working?

True, let's list here the market choices for the reference:

1) Pegasos Open Desktop Workstation:       $799  (Freescale 1GHz G4/512MB RAM/80GB disc)
2) Avnet AMCC PowerPC 440GX Eval. Kit:     $749  (AMCC 440GX 533MHz/256MB RAM/32MB FLASH)
3) TAMS MOAB 3011 (board/chasis/doc + CD): $650  (AMCC 405GPr 400MHz/64MB RAM/128MB FLASH)
4) Avnet Freescale MPC885 Evaluation Kit:  $499  (Freescale MPC885 133MHz/64MB RAM/16MB FLASH)
5) Intrinsyc CerfCube 405EP for Linux:     $399  (IBM 405EP/32MB RAM/32MB FLASH)
6) TAMS MOAB 3011 (eval. board only):      $399  (AMCC 405GPr 400MHz/64MB RAM/128MB FLASH)
7) Synology NAS DS-101g+ :                 $300  (Freescale MPC 8241 266MHz /64MB RAM/16MB FLASH)
8) Buffalo Kuro-box HG:              somewhere between (7) and (9) (Freescale MPC 8241 266MHz /128MB RAM/4MB FLASH)
9) Buffalo Kuro-box:                       $160  (Freescale MPC 8241 200MHz /64MB RAM/4MB FLASH)

where (2)-(6) seems to be "true" embedded solutions with proper boot 
monitors (RedBoot, U-Boot, PPCBoot, etc.) and serial consoles, (1) is more 
like general system ala PowerMac and (7)-(9) are cheap NAS solutions 
sometimes hackable to contain serial console etc. (like now popular 
Linksys NSLU2 for XScale platform).

As my target hobby price (RTEMS/Linux/real-time is just hobby of mine) is 
around $200, I will probably end with one of NAS solutions or an old 
second-hand PowerMac. Anyway, my current strategy is wait and see, since I 
expect PowerPC prices to fall a little bit after recent IBM's move to more 
"open" PowerPC licenses and also after enter of new game consoles into the 
market (XBox/PS3), not talking about usual price-fall of new PowerPC-based 
NAS like DS-101g+.

BTW: RTEMS does not run on any of the choices above, although it might be 
probably easily ported to some of them (PPC405 etc.)

Karel Gardas                  kgardas at
ObjectSecurity Ltd. 

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