The news cycle for processors and system-on-chip (SoC) products these days is all about 64-bit cores powering the latest computers and smartphones, so it’s easy to be misled into thinking that all 32-bit technology is obsolete. That quickly leads to the idea of removing support for 32-bit hardware, which would clearly make life easier for kernel developers in a number of ways. At the same time, a majority of embedded systems used today do use 32-bit processors, so a valid question is if this will ever change, or if 32-bit will continue to be the best choice for devices that do not require significant resources.
To find an answer, it is worth taking a look at different types of systems supported in Linux today, how they have evolved over time with the introduction of 64-bit processors, why they remain popular, and what challenges these face today and in the future.
To read the full article from Arnd Bergmann, visit LWN here.