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PowerPC 405
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Date: 2009-03-27 (17:20)
From: Xavier Leroy <Xavier.Leroy@i...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] PowerPC 405
Just to complement Basile's excellent answers:

> Do you know if it is possible to compile caml code on a PowerPC 405
> from the Vertex 4 family ?
> We'd like to put this processor in a FPGA.  On the Caml's website,
> it is written "PowerPC" but is it only for Macintosch ?

Not just Macintosh: PowerPC/Linux is also supported and works very

> Yes, it will run Linux. It will have the uclibC or even the lib C.

Then you're in good shape.  I would expect a basic OCaml system to
work with uclibC, although a number of external libraries might not.
With GNU libC, everything will work but watch out for code size:
glibc is big!

> The best case is to run native code for better performance. We'd
> like to cross-compile for the PowerPC.

Setting up OCaml as a cross-compiler is a bit of a challenge at the
moment.  As a prerequisite, you'll need a complete cross-compilation
environment for C: cross-compiler, cross-binutils, libraries and
header files for your target.  It sounds obvious but in my experience
that's quite hard to get right.  Then, there is a bit of configuration
magic to be done on the OCaml side.  Write back for help if you're
going to follow this way.

A perhaps simpler alternative would be to compile on a bigger
PowerPC/Linux platform.  An old Mac would be handy for this, but you
can also use a Sony Playstation 3 (if you happen to have one around
for, ahem, R&D purposes) after installing YellowDog Linux on it.

- Xavier "doing lots of R&D with my PS3" Leroy