Broadcom Northstar Boards

This document describes how to use U-Boot on the Broadcom Northstar boards, comprised of the Cortex A9 ARM-based BCM470x and BCM5301x SoCs. These were introduced in 2012-2013 and some of them are also called StrataGX.

Northstar is part of the iProc SoC family.

A good overview of these boards can be found in Jon Mason’s presentation “Enabling New Hardware in U-Boot” where the difference between Northstar and Northstar Plus and Northstar 2 (Aarch64) is addressed.

The ROM in the Northstar SoC will typically look into NOR flash memory for a boot loader, and the way this works is undocumented. It should be possible to execute U-Boot as the first binary from the NOR flash but this usage path is unexplored. Please add information if you know more.


$ make CROSS_COMPILE=${CROSS_COMPILE} bcmns_defconfig


$ ${CROSS_COMPILE}strip u-boot