Mediatek MT8173 Quad Core big.LITTLE ARM Cortex A72/A53 Processor Code Submitted to Linux Mainline

Orange Pi Development Boards

[Update: MT8173 processor has now been announced, and it’s using Cortex A72 and A53 instead of A57/A53, as initially shown in the Linux kernel source code]

Mediatek is not exactly known to compliant with open source licences, or be involved with the open source community. But the company is certainly going into the right direction with their cooperation with Google leading to source code release for Android One smartphones, and the recently launched Mediatek Labs for community projects, starting with LinkIt One IoT platform. Mediatek is also regularly submitting code to the Linux ARM Kernel mailing list, and yesterday code was submitted for Mediatek MT8173 SoC, a 64-bit ARMv8 processor with two Cortex 53 and two Cortex 57 cores in big.LITTLE configuration. As far as I know, it could be the first Mediatek SoC with “big” Cortex A57 cores.

Mediatek_MT8125

Code snippet from mt8173.dtsi related to CPU cores:


A short DTS file was also submitted for MT8173 tablet EVB (evaluation board):


The memory section normally defines the location and size of the RAM (0x40000000 correspond to 1GB), but in this device tree file the location and size is shown twice, maybe because its a 64-bit platform addressed with 2x 1GB RAM (TBC) using 32-bit buses. An explanation of this would be welcomed.

That’s about all I know for know, except the new processor shares a lot with MT8135 and other MT65xx series. My search for MTK8173 / MT8173 did not yield interesting results so far.

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Mediatek MT8173 is a big.LITTLE Cortex A72 / A53 Quad Core Processor for TabletsdavidltSomeone from the other sidePaul Recent comment authors
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Someone from the other side
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Someone from the other side

Ok MT, now please do the same for the phone chips…

Paul
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Paul

CNX, device tree cells are by definition 32 bits. That means that for 64-bit platforms, 2 consecutive cells are required for address/size value. They are given in big endian format to be human-friendly.

So, the above defines 1Gb of mem at 0x0000000040000000

Paul
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Paul

@cnxsoft

Yes. And just to clarify, this actually depends not on CPU bitness, but is configured in DTS file itself using #address-cells and #size-cells, e.g. https://github.com/torvalds/linux/blob/master/arch/arm/boot/dts/highbank.dts#L25 . It would be possible to have 2-cell vales for 32-bit CPUs too (if it has physical address extension for example), or 1-cell – on 64-bit, if its address spaces is capped to 4Gb, etc.

Someone from the other side
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Someone from the other side

@cnxsoft
More interested in the mtk6732. Those Mali 4xx in the 32bit chips are close to useless in my view

davidlt
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davidlt

This uses not A57, but A72 cores up to 2.4GHz.

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[…] Mediatek MT8173 first showed up in the Linux kernel as a quad core Cortex A57 / A53 processor, but now that Mediatek has officially announced the processor, it turns out the Cortex A57 cores are actually the new Cortex A72 cores, with a similar architecture, but more powerful, about 1.8 times faster. […]