Linux on ESP32 Device Family

State: Assigned to Gregory Frommelt

Linux on ESP32 device family shall be possible because it is built upon a Linux-supported 32-bit RISC processor. 8 MB PSRAM on ESP32-WROVER-IE [4] shall be enough to run kernel, uclibc, and basic binaries. The cheapest development board for ESP32-WROVER-IE [5] costs around 10.07 CHF. However, when one does not need a development board, an ESP32-WROVER-IE costs 3.09 CHF! Regular RPI devices, which already contain an ARM Cortex CPU such as [2,3] cost 22-24 CHF, while the regular RPI 3 costs around 38 CHF. The cost reduction from RPI 3 to RPI 0 is already 42%, and the further cost reduction from RPI (Zero development board) to ESP32-WROVER-IE would be another 54%. Running Linux on  regular ESP32-WROVER-IE (i.e., not with a development board) would mean a cost reduction of 92% in comparison to an RPI 3 device!

This project should perform a feasibility study and demonstrate a successful run of the Linux operating system on ESP32 providing and documenting a toolchain [6], bootloader, linux kernel, and a couple of example packages (e.g., uclibc, init, bash). A successful demonstration shall be provided as well. 

[1] http://wiki.linux-xtensa.org/index.php/Main_Page
<http://wiki.linux-xtensa.org/index.php/Main_Page>[2] https://www.conrad.ch/fr/p/512-mo-banana-pi-bpi-zero-allwinner-quad-core-cortex-a7-h2-1-pc-s-1646892.html <https://www.conrad.ch/fr/p/512-mo-banana-pi-bpi-zero-allwinner-quad-core-cortex-a7-h2-1-pc-s-1646892.html>
[3] https://www.distrelec.ch/en/raspberry-pi-zero-wh-raspberry-pi-raspberry-pi-zero-wh/p/30113445
<https://www.distrelec.ch/en/raspberry-pi-zero-wh-raspberry-pi-raspberry-pi-zero-wh/p/30113445>[4] https://www.espressif.com/sites/default/files/documentation/esp32-wrover-e_esp32-wrover-ie_datasheet_en.pdf
[5] https://www.mouser.ch/ProductDetail/Espressif-Systems/ESP32-DevKitC-VIE?qs=vmHwEFxEFR%252B9L5ZhUgeToA==
[6] http://www.linux-xtensa.org/

20% Design, 50% Implementation, 30% Documentation
Cross Compiling, Linux Kernel Compilation, C, C++, Make

Supervisors: Dr. Eryk Schiller

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