Project Status: FreeBSD portion complete, work ongoing.
Developers: Andrew Turner and Semihalf sp.j.
Officially known as AArch64, the 64-bit ARM architecture is also known as ARMv8 and arm64. The 64-bit ARM architecture is expected to find use in traditional server markets, in contrast to the embedded and mobile markets where 32-bit ARM is widely adopted.
The FreeBSD Foundation is collaborating with ARM, Cavium, Semihalf sp.j., and Andrew Turner to port FreeBSD to arm64. Cavium is contributing directly to the Foundation, supplying engineering expertise and hardware for the development community. Cavium’s ThunderX platform provides a great match for FreeBSD’s strength as a server operating system, and it supports up to 48 cores in a single package. ThunderX will be the initial reference target for this project, but ports to other arm64 platforms will follow.
This project’s overall goal is to bring FreeBSD/arm64 to a Tier-1 status, including release media and pre-built package sets. More information about the arm64 port can be found on the FreeBSD wiki, and the in-progress source tree is available through the FreeBSD Foundation’s GitHub account.