Call for SPARCengine 1e BSP

Ivan Galkin Ivan_Galkin at
Thu Sep 8 12:58:18 UTC 2005

Joel, thanks for reply and suggestions. Here's some answers:

SPARCstation 1 (sun4c model) is the closest analog, but not the same. 
SPARCengine 1e is called "SPARCstation 1 in VME". It is however a sun4e 
model, not sun4c.
We tried to use NetBSD bootloader on our Force CPU-1CE board, it starts 
up, works with the console on port A, but does not load secondary 
images. I posted to NetBSD/sparc-port, but noone was familiar with the 
4e board.

Force documentation:
Can be found here:
It is actually pretty good.

Does not work with RTEMS ELFs, complains about incompatible sections in 
the ELF (many sections, actually).
But we found a combination of gcc options that make good a.out-sunos-big 
executables that we can actually run on our 4e board:

sparc-rtems-gcc -c -Wall -mcpu=v7 -fno-ident -e -0x4000
sparc-rtems-ld -s -N -e 0x4000 --oformat a.out-sunos-big

(this uses separate compiling and linking).
We also tried the following to rebuild RTEMS kernel for sun4e:

sparc-rtems-gcc -Wl,--oformat,a.out-sunos-big

but this did not work out, as all libraries are in ELF as well, and we 
observed certain hiccups... at some point we gave up.

I think vme support is available from the Sun in their original sun4e 
libraries... if only I could find those... I only have include files. We 
don't need anything sophisticated... read-writes, no interrupts needed.

BTW, a Force cpu-2ce board is on ebay today for $25.

Thanks again,

Joel Sherrill <joel at> wrote:

> Ivan Galkin wrote:
>> Inspired by Joel's invitation, here's a call for a BSP port to 
>> SPARCengine 1e board.
> Does this match any of the hardware in the list at?
> If you can boot NetBSD, then you have (OK someone has) all the driver 
> information you need.  Not in the best form but there.
> I updated your Wiki entry to include information on how to
> address the a.out boot loader and som eother thoughts.  See
>> SPARCengine 1e is a SPARC V7 board in VME, circa 1991.
>> This CPU was used as a prototype for the ERC32 chipset.
>> The existing RTEMS ERC32 BSP does not work on SPARCengine 1e (see 
>> below).
>> Motivation for BSP port:
>> An ERC32 evaluation board can be found at $15-18K from Atmel or 
>> Tharsys, whereas a used Force CPU-1CE or CPU-2CE boards are a mere 
>> $100 on ebay. The ERC32 VME boards continue to be a viable choice of 
>> radiation-hardened embedded systems for space applications.
> Does Force have any documentation?  How about the ESA folks who 
> originally did the ERC32?  I know it is old but Jiri.... any thoughts?
>> Known problems with Rtems ERC32 on SPARCEngine 1e:
>> ERC32 BSP is in ELF format, whereas SPARCengine bootloader supports 
>> a.out-sunos-big only.
>> Very little expert help can be found, the board is too old.
>> Original SUN libraries for this board are hard to find.
>> Potential problems:
>> MMU got redesigned in ERC32.
>> VME support looks board-specific.
>> Hope to hear from someone interested.
>> Ivan

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