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Revision as of 02:25, 7 December 2009 by Flameman (talk | contribs) (Motorola Sandpoint X4, a bit about the ppc reference platform)
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Motorola Sandpoint X4, a bit about the ppc reference platform

The Sandpoint is a reference platform designed by Motorola to help people develop hardware and software around various PowerPC processors. The basic system is an ATX form-factor motherboard with standard PC devices (IDE, floppy, serial, parallel), 4 PCI slots, and a mezzanine slot to which several different processor modules may be attached.

The Sandpoint evaluation system demonstrates the capabilities of Freescale PowerPC™ processors and the Tundra Tsi107™ PowerPC Host Bridge. The Sandpoint Evaluation System is the ideal platform for software development and debug, as well as for hardware development.

The Sandpoint evaluation system provides an example that can be used in designing other systems based on implementations of the PowerPC instruction set architecture, and a platform for developing and debugging software for these processors and associated bridge chips.

The motherboard inside the Sandpoint evaluation system is an ATX form factor with PCI Mezzanine (PMC) connectors that accepts a processor module. The processor module options are listed below. Links to the processor module web pages can be found under Evaluation/Development Boards and Systems on this page.


  • One MPPMC slot for a processor board (PrPMC compatible with PCI arbitration extensions)
  • Four 32-bit/5V PCI slots
  • PMC and PCI slots auto-sense/auto-select 33 or 66 MHz operation
  • Two standard 16650-compatible ESD-protected serial ports
  • IEEE 1284 parallel port
  • Floppy disk port
  • Two ATA33 bus-master IDE ports
  • PS/2 mouse and keyboard connectors
  • Real-Time Clock
  • Switch-selectable operating modes
  • Advanced Power Controller ("soft on/off")
  • LED monitors for critical functions

About the ppc7410 head sink

to replace unscrew the 2 parts, slide the head sink onto the part so the rails catch under the chip Tighten a little


platform support ???

is there support for 2.6 kernels ? only 2.4 ???

what is supported and what is not ???


Currently, NetBSD/sandpoint requires the use of Motorola's DINK32 ROM to load over a serial port. This means that there is no way to boot from a local disk or PCI device.

Supported processor cards

  • mobo sandpoint/X4 with MPC8240
  • CPUmodule Altimus X3 with either MPC755 or MPC7410

Other PMCs should work, but may need minor adjustments or more substantial work to support additional functionality.

Supported devices

  • Ethernet
         - Asante Mac 10/100 PCI Rev A, part number 09-00169-01 (de) 
         - Farallon Fast EtherTX 10/100, part number PN996L-TX (de) 
         - SMC Etherpower II (9432TX) (epic) 
         - SMC 83c170 (epic) 
         - 3Com 3c905 (ex) 
         - Intel EtherExpress PRO/10+ PCI LAN Adapter (fxp) 
         - Realtek 8029 Ethernet (ne) 
         - VIA Technologies VT86C926 (ne) 
         - D-Link DFE-530TX+ (rtk) 
         - Realtek 8139 (rtk) 
         - Netgear FA-311 (sip) 
         - Lite-On PNIC (tlp) 
         - D-Link DFE-530TX (vr) 
         - Many other PCI Ethernet interfaces, such as Tulip-compatible (de and tlp), 3Com (ep), SMC (epic), Intel (fxp), NE2000-compatible (ne), and Realtek (rtk) 
  • SCSI
         - Adaptec PCI controllers 291x, 2920, 2930C, 294x, 295x, 39xx, 19160, 29160 and AIC-78xx (ahc) 
         - AdvanSys ABP-940UW[68], ABP-970UW[68], ASB3940UW-00 SCSI host adapters (adw) 
         - AdvanSys 1200[A,B], 9xx[U,UA] SCSI controller (adv) 
         - AMD 53c974 (pcscp) 
         - DPT SmartCache/SmartRAID (dpt) 
         - NCR/Symbios 53C8xx (siop or esiop) 
         - Many other PCI SCSI controllers should work, but no one has tried them 
         - Most SCSI disk/tape/CD-ROM devices should work 
  • IDE
         - Promise Ultra66 (pciide) 
         - Some other PCI IDE controllers should work, although no one has had much success 
         - Most IDE disk/CD-ROM/ATAPI devices should work 
  • Audio
         - PCI audio cards, although none have been tested. 
  • Serial ports
         - On-board serial ports (the modem and printer ports) (com0 and com1) 
         - Some PCI serial ports should work, but no one has tried them 
  • PCI cards
         - Most MI PCI cards should work, although very few have been tested with NetBSD/sandpoint http://www.NetBSD.org/support/hardware/pci.html 

Unsupported devices

  • Built-in PS/2 keyboard & mouse
  • Built-in parallel
  • Built-in floppy
  • Built-in IDE

Supported boot devices

Currently, the only way to boot the system is with the DINK32 ROM monitor's serial download or a JTAG device.


  • Booting the installer
  • Once the kernel is downloaded (s-rec ascii or binary), type "go 90000" to start the kernel.

Example of a normal boot Of course, a lot of the information in this example depends on your model and what your boot method is, but we'll include this anyways just so you get an idea of what to expect (user-typed commands are in bold).

   DINK32>> go 90000
   [ XXX - insert boot w/ installer on ramdisk instead of this example ]

Common Problems and Error Messages Insufficient data.