MIPS and Haiku

I am aware that there is talk of future ports to ARM and MIPS. Having read quite a bit about the Lemote Yeeloong netbook ( http://www.lemote.com/english/yeeloong.html ) and the Loongson CPU lately I believe that this attitude of free non-blob hardware is the way to go for Haiku.

The Chinese are quickly developing this platform and porting Haiku to MIPS should be a priority even before AMD64 or ARM imho. Think of the vast number of users and developers in China alone who would jump on the Haiku train if MIPS was supported.

Just a thought…

Actually I think the loongson hw is hardly what you would call open from a hardware perspective since I can’t find any code at all for it.

Sure they are using a lot of open source stuff in their product but not anything new their MIPS design is closed source as far as I can tell. I would be interested in checking it out though if anybody knows otherwise.

Do you have numbers on how many Loongsons have been sold in china?

Loongson laptops are generally more expensive and have had poor performance compared to the alternatives while I admit that may change when they release the multicore version I think the ARM Cortex-A9 will stand a better change of becoming popular due to the fact that ARM is already the most popular for embedded systems and is quite cheap.

Personally I wish companies would take advantage of all the opensource sparc designs T1 64bit, T2 64bit and LEON 32 bit … interestingly the LEON seems to be an order of magnitude more compact and is used in military and satellite installations running Linux or possibly something else like vxworks


Here the website for the MIPS processor. STM has quite a number of documents on the Loongson. No idea how many have been sold in China…

I agree that the Cortex-A9 would be great but TI seems to drag on their release. If you are interested in something small with a Cortex have a look at the OSWALD project from Oregon State… very cool little computer. edit an OSWALD runs about $400US and will be for sale early in 2010…

SPARC unfortunately seems dead with the Oracle takeover. Will anyone take up the opensource designs? Probably not… maybe the Chinese or Taiwanese should? :slight_smile:

Oops, I forgot to ask… are there any netbooks/notebooks with the Cortex-A9 yet? I’d love one!

I haven’t seen any yet, but there is of course the Touchbook using a Cortex-A8:


Yep, I am aware of that one. That is the one plus of MIPS, Lemote is selling Loongson based netbooks at the moment for about $350US. We may have to wait a year or more for the Cortex-A9. I don’t know… I just think Haiku needs a niche market and no one is stepping towards MIPS other than Debian, OpenBSD(soon), no doubt at some point NetBSD.

Of course, I do have some concerns regarding MIPS. The Chinese gov’t is funding the development of this CPU. The PRC (People’s Republic of China) believes why buy Intel/AMD/VIA when they can produce a similar product at home… but their history with regards to human rights and freedoms makes me a bit leery of supporting the Loongson and therefore the PRC.

Do I own a Loongson netbook? No. Do I want one? I do, merely to hack with it as a hobby. Am I comfortable giving the PRC gov’t a few yuan of my hard earned money? I’m undecided. Could it be a way to promote and explode the Haiku community? I believe it is as almost 1/6 of the world’s population lives in China. That is why I am suggesting a MIPS port of Haiku.

Sparc isn’t dead fujitsu will continue producing thier own designs for HPCs (a very large super compute is being built in japan with SPARCs at them moment). It would be significantly harder to kill that most architectures… the only thing that could kill it are total obsolescence such as would kill all the other architectures anyway such as some physical requirement that requires a rethink on how processors work (quantum etc…).

Also there are several open source SPARC designs and no licensing is required from sun or any other company to design fully SPARC compatible processors. There is also the SPARC S1 core derived from Niargra iirc that is a mobile design with much of the heavyweight server centric parts removed even though I think it retained much of the threading power that niagra has.

So basically anybody with a few thousand dollars can get SPARC processors made (from eASIC for example which uses a hybrid hardwired FPGA chip that can be produced more or less cheaply) and there are 3 versions of LEON to choose from soon to be 4 I think and then there are the heavyweight SUN T1 and T2 designs that are open source also. Suns fimware is also open source from what I understand using openfirmware.

In short SUN hardware is the most awesome open source designed hardware there is. Now get me a S1 core and a radeon GPU in an internet tablet with haiku on it and we will be set :wink:

May I also point out that the pandora (~333 USD)is cheaper than the oswald even though the hardware design is less open the OSWALD.

I was interested in the Longsoon MIPS laptop also. I did a little research and even wrote to some people in China for more info. After doing research on this platform I have very low expectations for it, both hardware and software. The hardware is not open, it is not fast enough to be competitive, the development cycles are too slow. The software is only a clone of RedHat, there is very little original software development for the platform.

Sure, the idea of Haiku running on a MIPS laptop is cool. But in the order of priorities it is way down the list. I don’t think it is realistic to expect a port to MIPS any time soon. If I could choose an alternative platform for Haiku, I would put it on a phone platform, like Android.


The devs over at OpenBSD seem to think its open enough to support. I finally did buy a Yeeloong from China. A nice little hobby machine with tons of potential. Debian installs no problem.

ARM is used in cell phones and GPS devices. ARM will also be available in tablets, smartbooks, and nettops too. Most people are already using ARM and/or x86 gadgets and computers.

Haiku is now x86, but slowly adding support for ARM. Very sure you will get Haiku supporting ARM way earlier than MIPS.

Yah you are probably right… ARM is more American driven and MIPS is going forward in China… let’s ignore the 400 internet million users in China… lol :slight_smile: Good conversation this.

Yes, MIPS (Loongson) maybe more popular in China now but ARM will be more popular in America & Europe. Adding MIPS support could happen but not likely from any developers outside of China. They likely will buy something with ARM.

Lots of computer stuff coming out in next few years will use ARM like Tablets & Smartbooks which will gain market share. I see your point, lots of internet users in China but not all of them use MIPS. Most of them use x86. I wonder how well ARM will do in China. I am sure there will be many manufacturers ready to make computer stuff with ARM too in China. It should be interesting to see what happens there.

I am a Chinese. I can read a lot Chinese media you guys couldn’t. Basically I would say those guys are just liars and cheat the government for money. You maybe think it is impossible how the liars are still good but not in prison. If you read “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, you will understand the bizarre logic for a tyrannic government.

So don’t wast your time on MIPS from China.

that makes sense to me the loongson looked inncreasingly scammy the more I read about it…its no more open than arm and much less effficient. sparc is the only real open source cpu design that might take off with a nudge from oracle and fujitsu.