Examination of embedded Linux on an FPGA

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Wacha Gábor József
Department of Measurement and Information Systems

The Linux operating system is gaining popularity in embedded environments, highlighting the importance of its implementation on different hardware platforms. This has proven to be a difficult task to carry out regarding soft microprocessors synthesized for FPGA chips, for in this case not only the peripheries of the system are prone to change, but so are the attributes of the processor. The Linux kernel is reconfigurable in a way that enables it to properly track the changes of the hardware platform. Nevertheless, reconfiguration is not automatic, which can make the process problematic. The goal of my thesis is to design a program that provides more flexibility than the current solutions (e.g.: PetaLinux) and aids the implementation of Linux in a new FPGA configuration. During my work I got familiar with the Xilinx MicroBlaze processor, the tools required to create a Linux OS and the structure of Linux. I've managed to build a working Linux operating system that runs on an Atlys card, and I've created a program that eases the generation of the OS. Lastly, I wrote a couple of programs running on MicroBlaze that exhibit the workings of the system.


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