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board support package

Contributor(s): Stan Gibilisco

A board support package (BSP) is essential code code for a given computer hardware device that will make that device work with the computer's OS (operating system). The BSP contains a small program called a boot loader or boot manager that places the OS and device drivers into memory. The contents of the BSP depend on the particular hardware and OS.

Specific tasks that the BSP performs include the following, in order:

  • Initialize the processor.
  • Initialize the bus.
  • Initialize the interrupt controller.
  • Initialize the clock.
  • Initialize the RAM (random access memory) settings.
  • Configure the segments (if applicable).
  • Run the boot loader.

In addition to the foregoing, a BSP can contain directives, compilation parameters, and hardware parameters for configuring the OS.

This was last updated in October 2012

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To complete the given definition : a board support package often take care of the essential softwares and start them at the end of the boot process. Usually it includes watchdog, network management, etc. A typical Linux BSP also ensures all critical file systems are read only to prevent data corruption and provides a way to upgrade the firmware.
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