Power & Source of Big Ideas

64-bit NanoPi M3 image

Moderators: chensy, FATechsupport

Hello again,

as we are now past Chinese New Year as well, I would like to get back to some statements that both Nexell and FriendlyARM have made in Aug/Sept of last year regarding support/availability of a 64-bit kernel for NanoPi-M3/NanoPC-T3:

awl29 wrote:
I have just been in e-mail contact with an employee of Nexell/Zhongwei Semi. While they can only provide technical support to companies that have signed a NDA with them (such as FriendlyARM has), he was so kind as to provide some general information on the status of 64-bit support for S5P6818 from Nexell's point of view.

He said the following:
  • There will be a 64-bit based linux kernel on S5P6818 and the kernel version will be 3.18 or up. But when will it be released, we don't know exactly. It's under developing. The schedule is at the end of 2016 the 64-bit kernel will be released.
  • When this kernel is released, FriendlyARM will get it and then you can ask them for it.
This is great news, as it will open up the complete 64-bit world of ARMv8 aarch64 (arm64) for S5P6818! :D
FATechsupport wrote:
Hi thank you for your attention.
Once we get this support we will arrange its development but we cannot say it for sure exactly we will be able to release it since it depends on various factors
As for the toolchain we will decide that after we get the new kernel
Can you please update us on the current status of the 64-bit activities:

  • Have you received the 64-bit kernel for S5P6818 SoC from Nexell/Zhongwei Semi in the meantime as they promised? If you haven't yet, then please inform your contacts at Nexell and ask them to provide it to you.
  • What is the status of your own activities regarding device driver support for this new kernel? How far away are we from a working 64-bit kernel for M3/T3, i.e. what tasks are still on your to-do list?
Many thanks for your help & best regards
There is a 64-bit kernel 4.4 using the same CPU here: https://github.com/SamsungARTIK/linux-a ... /A710/v4.4
u-boot here: https://github.com/SamsungARTIK/u-boot- ... 0_os_2.0.0

As far as Nexell is concerned, job done! They have delivered the kernel.

Integrating that kernel to work with the hardware (other than the CPU) on NanoPi M3 is up to FriendlyARM.
Hello FriendlyARM / FATechSupport,

would you please be so kind as to provide an update on the status of your activities regarding the 64-bit kernel for NanoPi-M3 / NanoPC-T3?

Many thanks in advance!
@Friendly ARM / @FATechSupport

Would you please be so kind and answer the questions above about the 64-bits kernel?

Thank you in advance.
I'm also interested in the 64-bit images. It seems rather weird to advertise the board as 64-bit, when in fact there are no images supporting that.

I see xsacha posted links to github repository with 64-bit kernel/uboot a month ago - has anyone managed to get that working with nanopc-t3?
Repeating myself:
@Friendly ARM / @FATechSupport

Would you please be so kind and answer the questions above about the 64-bits kernel?

Thank you in advance.
@Chensy, do you have any updates on development of 64-bit Debian/Ubuntu image for the M3. @FATechsupport does not seem to be active on th the forums for the last couple of months, and you are listed as an additional moderator. Thanks you for any info you can give!
So, not even a response after more than a month (and several months since the issue of 64-bit images was first brought up). At this point I'd say this is just a bait & switch - advertising a board as 64-bit, without providing any viable way to actually run it in 64-bit mode.

FWIW I do realize 64-bits won't give me much advantage on this board, but I need to do tests with 64-bit ARM, so this seemed like a nice board to do so. Should have bought pine64+ I guess - only 4 cores, but 2GB RAM and 64-bit images.
tomasv wrote:
FWIW I do realize 64-bits won't give me much advantage on this board, but I need to do tests with 64-bit ARM, so this seemed like a nice board to do so.

The geekbox runs a 64 bit kernel and can run both 32 and 64 bit user applications (with the appropriate libraries installed). I see a decent (40% or so) boost from 64 bit apps, but obviously it will vary from application to application. As well as the larger register size there are also twice the number of registers and the new instruction set to benefit from.

My use case is headless server for compilation and regression testing, so I don't need multimedia support. I'd be delighted to see (and test) a 64 bit OS on the M3. (While we're on wishful thinking, I'd also love a version with 2G ram and 16G eMMC! )
I still hope for FriendlyARM to deliver an official 64-bit kernel when they release the 2GB version of T3, but for the time being, here is an independent 64-bit kernel based on 4.11 for M3/T3 (S5P6818) and Debian installer build that works on M3 and T3:


All credits for this effort go to github user "rafaello7" - I'm just the messenger... ;)

Best regards,
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