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Saw the term "expert in SoC bringup" on a job description for an embedded software developer: SoC here refers to System-on-Chip, but I was wondering what the term "SoC bringup" meant.

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"SoC bringup" generally refers to the process of porting an operating system to a new embedded system that incorporates an SoC chip. This includes tasks such as:

  • Assisting with the hardware debug by writing low-level test code to exercise memory and peripheral interfaces.
  • Making sure that the bootloader can communicate with the specific boot device, and verifying that the entire boot process works correctly. This could also include writing a driver that allows an initial boot image to be written to a blank boot device.
  • Verifying that OS-level device drivers exist for the specific peripherals being used. This could include writing custom drivers for application-specific hardware.
  • Making sure that the debugging mechanisms for application-level code are in place and working properly. This could include some combination of JTAG (hardware) based debugging or something like gdb running over a network interface.

Together, these things are sometimes called a "board support package", or BSP.

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