SoC+FPGA solutions are vital part of the embedded ecosystem and 2018 brought many improvements to their upstream support.

At the beginning, Marek explains what SoC and FPGA systems are and how their combination on a single piece of silicon can be useful.

This is followed by multiple important news from U-Boot and Linux upstream. On the Intel side, Marek covers the newly supported Arria10/Stratix10 in upstream U-Boot as there are considerable differences from the previous generation of SoCFPGA. This is followed by a brief look at the constantly improving support for those SoCs in mainline Linux and their real-world usability with LTS and CIP trees.

On the Xilinx side, U-Boot can now completely replace proprietary boot components on ZynqMP and Marek explains how to make this change and what the pros and cons are. While mainline Linux support for Zynq and ZynqMP is improving too, there are still many limitations preventing pure mainline Linux from being used in real-world systems. Marek points out those limitations as well as ways to deal with them. Concluding the Xilinx part of the talk is the Lima open-source Mali4xx GPU driver, which allows replacing the proprietary userspace blob controlling the GPU. The current state of the driver as well as how to get it operational on ZynqMP is explained in this talk.

Finally, important security fixes mitigating recently discovered hardware problems are now available in U-Boot, yet enabling those is not a simple matter of flipping a Kconfig option, but instead requires careful analysis of the entire system. Marek points out which software components need to be checked and outlines a fix for those before the security problems can be considered addressed.

Marek Vasut