[talk] ARM - any Tier-1 *BSD options?

Jim Thompson jim at netgate.com
Tue Aug 7 12:51:21 EDT 2018

> On Aug 7, 2018, at 2:45 AM, George Neville-Neil <gnn at neville-neil.com> wrote:
>> On 7 Aug 2018, at 2:18, Charles Sprickman wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> So I’m starting to rely on a Pi or two here and there and I’m finding the upgrade options for FreeBSD to be a bit… labor intensive.  I was hoping for “freebsd-update” but that’s not an option apparently.
>> So for all the ARM fans here, what are my options?
>> - Is FreeBSD going to be making any ARM stuff "Tier 1" soon?
> Yes.  Probably in 12.0.  Packages etc. are being built regularly BTW.
> No idea on the Net/Open front but it seems others are answering that one.

Netgate has several ARM-powered devices running pfSense. 

The SG-1000 has a TI OMAP 3552 inside. The BeagleBone series has a faster version of the same SoC  inside. 

We did a lot of work to the Ethernet driver. It will do just a bit under 600mbps now (no pf/ipfw).  When we started it was slower than Linux, now it’s faster.  All of the FreeBSD bits have been upstreamed. 

Our SG-3100 has a Marvell 385 in it, along with a Marvell 6141 switch.  Netgate and Semihalt did a lot of work on various parts of the SoC, caches, timers, NIC driver and SD/eMMC bus.  All work has either been upstreamed or is scheduled to be upstreamed. 

Netgate’s next product based on ARM is unannounced, but it’s clear from other places I’ve talked that it’s based on the Marvell 3720, as found on the espresso.bin.
This is an arm64 platform.  Similar work has taken place on the SD/eMMC bus, and to get the forwarding up to 1gbps, which required enabling the on-die coherent memory.

I anticipate an announcement soon.  All the FreeBSD work will be upstreamed. 

Finally, I just kicked off a project (read: we’re paying an outside developer) to improve the support in FreeBSD for the Marvell 7000/8000 series (pin drivers, clock drivers, etc).  These are the current top-end ARM64 platforms from Marvell. First target is the solidrun macchiato.bin board.  All this work will be upstreamed as it’s accomplished. 

The whole idea here is to help FreeBSD have arm64 as a Tier-1 architecture and give the pfSense and FreeBSD communities non-Intel options. 

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