Bootlin contributions to OP-TEE 3.17

OP-TEE logoAs we mentioned in our last blog post about OP-TEE 3.16, Bootlin planned to and contributed some interesting features in the recently released OP-TEE 3.17 ! Here is a short presentation of our contributions to this release:


During this release cycle, Bootlin contributed the following features:

  • Watchdog support
    • Generic watchdog API
    • OP-TEE Watchdog service compatible with arm,smc-wdt Linux driver
    • Microchip SAMA5D2 watchdog driver
  • RTC support
    • Generic RTC API
    • OP-TEE RTC PTA to expose RTC to Linux
    • Microchip SAMA5D2 RTC driver
    • Linux driver for OP-TEE RTC
  • Microchip SAMA5D2 suspend support
    • Support for ULP0, ULP1, ULP0 Fast and backup modes of the SAMA5D2 processor
    • PSCI support
    • Fix Cortex-A5 suspend support in OP-TEE
  • Microchip SAMA5D2 interrupt controller support

As part of our work on Microchip SAMA5D2 support in OP-TEE, we wanted to have support for the SAMA5D2 watchdog. Doing so without exposing the watchdog to Linux would have been useless and thus, we implemented and contributed a new generic watchdog API to OP-TEE. This interface allows registering a watchdog against the system and exposing it to Linux through a specific SMC handler that interfaces with the Linux arm,smc-wdt compatible driver (see drivers/watchdog/arm_smc_wdt.c in the Linux kernel code). Our generic watchdog API is obviously used by the new watchdog driver for Microchip SAMA5D2, but was also quickly leveraged by ST who contributed a new watchdog driver for stm32mp1 based on this new watchdog API.


On Microchip SAMA5D2, the RTC is part of the system controller which needs to be secured since it contains critical features. Once in the secure world, the RTC is not available to the normal world. In order to expose this RTC device to the normal world (and particularly for Linux RTC subsystem), a new Pseudo Trusted Application (PTA) was added. This PTA communicates with a Linux OP-TEE compatible RTC driver and allows to get/set the date and time. This driver is generic and will allow any vendor which adds RTC support to OP-TEE to expose it transparently to Linux.

Contribution details

A total of 29 commits were contributed for OP-TEE 3.17:

Next steps

Bootlin still have some features planned to be contributed to OP-TEE:

  • Pinctrl support
    • Microchip SAMA5D2 PIO driver
    • Pinmuxing API for providers and consumers
    • Device-tree pinmux parsing
  • SCMI clock support based on the clk framework

Do not hesitate to contact us if you need help and support to integrate or deploy OP-TEE on your platform, either Microchip platforms, but also other ARM32 or ARM64 platforms.

OP-TEE gains a clock framework contributed by Bootlin


OP-TEE logoOP-TEE is a popular open-source reference implementation of a Trusted Execution Environment that relis on the Arm Trustzone technology. While working on the OP-TEE port for an ARM 32-bit system-on-chip, the Microchip SAMA5D2, we needed to add support for the complete clock tree of this SoC. OP-TEE did not have any generic clock support at all and we felt the need to add such a framework. Thanks to this framework, support the 10+ clocks of the Microchip SAMA5D2 was easily imported from Linux with less work than a complete rewrite of the clock tree. Using generic subsystems allows to lower the maintenance cost and easily add new clocks.

In this blog post, we will describe in more details this clock framework, and the contributions we are doing to the OP-TEE project.

Clock framework

The clock framework that we contributed to OP-TEE allows to register clocks and represent a full clock tree with parents. Device Tree support has been added to allows parsing the clocks and their relationships from Device Tree. It provides a consumer API that allows device drivers to query clocks from their Device Tree node, enable or disable them, and get or set the needed clock rates.

assigned-clock-parents and assigned-clock-rates Device Tree properties are also supported and will apply the clock parents and rates described in these properties. A fixed-clock driver matching the "fixed-clock" compatible string has also been added since this one is often present in SoC Device Trees.

Peripheral drivers in OP-TEE can now use the functions provided by the clock framework to get clocks from the Device Tree using clk_dt_get_by_name() and then enable/disable them at will with clk_enable() and clk_disable() . Rates can also be set and retrieved using clk_set_rate() and clk_get_rate().

The pull request was made on OP-TEE github and contained the following commits, which have now been merged in the official upstream OP-TEE project:

Future work

With this clock framework in place, we are soon going to contribute support for the Microchip SAMA5D2, which will make use of the new clock framework. Some other platforms will also gain cleaner clock support thanks to this framework: for example, the existing STM32MP1 clock support is expected to be migrated to this clock framework.

In addition, based on this clock framework, SCMI (System Control and Management Interface) clock support has also been added. While OP-TEE already has support for exposing SCMI clocks to clients, the actual callbacks have to be implemented by platform-specific code. This additional support will allow exposing clocks registered within the clock framework to a SCMI client without any custom platform code. A Device Tree description will allow matching SCMI clock identifiers with clocks provided by clock drivers.

We have already submitted a pull request for this support, which is currently under review: Provide plat_scmi_clock_* using clock framework.

Embedded Linux Conference 2021 schedule published, 4 talks from Bootlin

The schedule for the Embedded Linux Conference 2021 has been published and features 4 talks proposed by Bootlin !

This year, the ELC will take place in Seatle but will be organised as a hybrid virtual/physical event  due to the pandemic.  As usual the ELC will have a really interesting schedule with 46 talks covering a wide range of topics: build system, kernel graphics, boot process, security, etc.

See below the details of Bootlin talks that will be presented as virtual talks.

Advanced Camera Support on Allwinner SoCs with Mainline Linux – Paul Kocialkowski, Bootlin

Capturing pixels with a camera involves a number of steps, from the ADC reading the photosites in the image sensor to the final pixel values that are ready for encode/display, with various processing and transmission taking place along the way. While simple cases put most of the heavy lifting on the image sensor’s side (through its embedded processor) and use a simple parallel bus for transmission, advanced cases require more work to be done outside of the sensor. In addition, modern high-speed transmission buses also bring-in more complexity. This talk will present how support for such an advanced use case was integrated into the mainline Linux kernel, using the Media and V4L2 APIs. It involves supporting a sensor using the raw Bayer RGB format, transmission over the MIPI CSI-2 bus as well as support for the Image Signal Processor (ISP) found on Allwinner platforms. A specific focus will be set on this ISP, with details about the features it implements as well as the internal and userspace APIs that are used to support it. The integration between all of the involved components will also be highlighted.

Talk given by Paul Kocialkowski, at 4:50 PM PDT on September 27, 2021. See this talk in the schedule.

Embedded Linux Nuggets found in Buildroot Package Eldorado

To this date, Buildroot supports more than 2,500 packages, selected for the ability to run them on embedded Linux systems. We’ve gone exploring this Eldorado, and came back with multiple nuggets of all shapes and colors. Join this playful presentation and as if you were still a new comer to the embedded Linux community, discover lesser known tools and resources that can add to the functionality of your systems or make your life as a developer easier and more fun. Whenever possible, each resource will be shown through a quick demonstration or video capture. During this talk, I’ll also open an Etherpad for all participants to share their favorite solutions with the rest of the audience, especially the ones that deserve to be better known, and could be worth supporting in Buildroot too. We will close the session by an open review and discussion based on the nuggets shared by the audience.

Michael Opdenacker

Talk given by Michael Opdenacker, at 12:00 PM PDT on September 28, 2021. See this talk in the schedule.

I3C in Tomorrow’s Design

I3C is the new bus specification by the MIPI Alliance. While being compatible with I2C devices, this bus brings a colorful set of new features such as dynamic address assignment, in-band interrupts, hot-join, master handover and many others. It was improved once again recently with the 1.1 version of the specification which brought timer based sampling synchronization and targeted reset. All this make the I3C bus a good candidate for a number of new situations compared to its I2C cousin. It is then more and more being included in new hardware designs. With this talk we would like to propose a reminder of the various components and concepts of this relatively new bus. We will then detail how it is implemented in the Linux kernel with a short guided tour in the I3C core. Since the previous talk on I3C in 2018 by Boris Brezillon, I3C has now become a reality and starts to become available in real hardware designs. This talk will recap the basics of I3C as well as add details of the 1.1 specification and improvements in the Linux support.

Miquèl Raynal

Talk given by Miquèl Raynal, at 4:00 PM PDT on September 28, 2021. See this talk in the schedule.

OP-TEE: When Linux Loses Control

OP-TEE is an open-source Trusted Execution Environment designed to be executed in a secure context as a companion to a non secure Linux system. But what happens to the peripherals control since OP-TEE can forbid the non-secure OS to access them ? When running with a TEE, Linux isn’t in charge anymore of some critical peripherals and relies on the TEE to access and configure them. There are multiple protocols and methods to access these peripherals that are supported by Linux (SCMI, PSCI, SMC). Supporting them for a SoC requires understanding the various interactions between the systems and how to modify them to fit that new control scheme. Additionally, the configuration must be passed from OP-TEE to Linux to allow a seamless integration. This talk will cover the boot process to start a secure system and the modifications needed to run Linux when OP-TEE is in charge of some peripherals. The work that has been done for a specific SoC will be described to have a tangible real-world use-case.

Clément Léger

Talk given by Clément Léger, at 12:00 PM PDT on September 29, 2021. See this talk in the schedule.