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prpl foundation

Open-source development for MIPS architecture


prpl (pronounced Purple) is an open-source, community-driven, collaborative, non-profit foundation established in 2014 and driven by the needs of the Internet of Things (IoT). The foundation is targeting and supporting the MIPS architecture with a focus on enabling next-generation datacenter-to-device portable software and virtualized architectures.
The foundation is also open to supporting other architectures and instruction sets.

As a first goal, they are pulling together MIPS ecosystem partners and resources under one umbrella in an attempt to nurture collaboration and openness, reduce duplication of effort, and share the benefits.

Founding members include Broadcom, Cavium, ikanos, Imagination Technology, Ineda Systems, Ingenic, Lanteq, Nevales Networks, PMC and Qualcomm.

They have established two engineering groups, called PEGs. The first, QEMU, is working on a generic machine emulator and virtualizer. The second, OpenWrt, plans to enable carrier-grade features to complement OpenWrt.

QEMU – Quick EMUlator. This is a hosted hypervisor that performs hardware virtualization. It is a hosted virtual machine monitor which emulates central processing unit (CPUs) through dynamic binary translation and provides a set of device models, enabling it to run a variety of unmodified guest operating systems. QEMU can also be used purely for CPU emulation for user-level processes, allowing applications compiled for one architecture to be run on another.

OpenWrt – The focus of the technology enhancements being provided by this group are centered around creating a robust, flexible open source platform suitable for mission critical, highly reliable products.

  • Known for: MIPS, open source, IoT
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