The newly released Power.org Standard for Embedded Power Architecture Platform Requirements (ePAPR) aims to speed software porting and reduce development costs for operating system and platform designers. The standard, published by Power.org, defines clear interfaces between embedded software components such as boot firmware, bootloaders, operating systems, and hypervisors, allowing system designers to create standardized platforms.
The ePAPR standard uses a “device tree” to describe the basic properties or characteristics for physical devices in a system. Compliant systems load a device tree into a client program’s memory, enabling that program to access system hardware it might not otherwise have been able to dynamically detect. This abstraction capability shields software and systems engineers from much of the underlying hardware complexity, making it easier, faster, and more reliable to port software and to build Power Architecture-based embedded systems. The standard also specifies mechanisms for booting systems with multiple CPUs.
“The ePAPR, while a powerful standard in itself, is a basic building block that has the potential to drive virtualization platforms and a host of innovations in the years to come,” said Power.org marketing committee chair Fawzi Behmann. “The ePAPR is further proof that the Power.org community is standardizing technology foundations to meet the evolving needs of the Power Architecture development community.”
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