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Mentor Embedded Linux adds 3rd Gen AMD G-Series support

Nov 4, 2016 — by Eric Brown 606 views

Mentor Graphics has released a version of Mentor Embedded Linux with expanded support for AMD’s 3rd Gen Embedded G-Series SoCs, featuring Qt Creator.

As promised in February when AMD announced its 3rd Gen, dual-core, Embedded G-Series SoCs, Mentor Graphics has updated its free Mentor Embedded Linux Lite Platform and commercial Mentor Embedded Linux (MEL) distribution for the SoCs. The extended support appears to include both the “Brown Falcon” (G-Series I) and the more power efficient, but less graphics intensive “Prairie Falcon” (G-Series J) 3rd Gen G-Series models.

MEL, as well as MEL Lite, are based on the open source Yocto Project. For the commercial version, Mentor then “complements with commercial testing, value-added capabilities, security vulnerability patches, development tools, and world-class support,” says the company. As usual, the tools are available with Mentor’s Sourcery CodeBench tools, which are themselves available in Lite and standard versions.

Mentor Embedded Linux architecture
(click image to enlarge)

The Mentor Embedded Linux runtime and development tools also support the AMD Embedded R-Series SoC (“Merlin Falcon”), and previous G-Series generations, codenamed “Steppe Eagle” and “Crowned Eagle”. The tools also support the old non-SoC R-Series APUs (“Bald Eagle”).


Support for developing and debugging UIs is available with an integrated version of Qt Creator in the commercial MEL package, as well as an upgrade to the integrated, accelerated Qt graphics framework. In addition to leveraging the Qt library modules, developers can make use of system-level trace and analysis visualization to optimize UI performance metrics, such as frame rate, says Mentor.

Other features in the commercial version include GStreamer, SELinux and IEEE-1588 Precision Timing Protocol, and a Sourcery CodeBench Eclipse-based IDE. Customization services and technical support are also available.

AMD 3rd Gen G-Series background

AMD’s 3rd Gen G-Series SoCs each offer up to two of the “Excavator” x86 CPU cores that debuted on the higher end “Merlin Falcon” R-Series SoC. However, only the higher end “Brown Falcon” I chips are BIOS compatible with Merlin Falcon. TDPs on the 3rd Gen G-Series range from 6 to 15W, compared to 6 to 25W on the previous generation. Yet the SoCs also have higher clock rates.

Block diagrams for 3rd Gen “Brown Falcon” I (left) and “Prairie Falcon” J
(click images to enlarge)

The “Brown Falcon” (G-Series I) and “Prairie Falcon” (G-Series J) differ primarily in TDP, clock rate, and the number of AMD Radeon graphics cores, but there are other differences as well. The “Brown Falcon” I G-Series chips have better graphics, but slower CPUs, while the “Prairie Falcon” I chips are the reverse.

The “Brown Falcon” I’s Excavator CPUs top out at 1.7GHz, or 2.0GHz in burst mode, and offer up to four Radeon R6E GPU cores clocked at up to 758MHz. The “Prairie Falcon” J CPUs advance to 2.4GHz/2.8GHz, but have only two Radeon R5E GPU cores clocked to a lower 600MHz or 686MHz, depending on the model.

“Mentor is our embedded Linux development solution of choice, providing a robust and scalable platform with global support, helping to serve the needs of our customers,” stated Scott Aylor, corporate vice president and general manager, AMD Enterprise Solutions.

Further information

The Mentor Embedded Linux Lite Platform is available now at no charge to AMD embedded customers. The Mentor Embedded Linux Commercial product is also available for an unstated fee. More information may be found on the Mentor Graphics MEL AMD page. Downloads may be found here.

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