Linux patch drops support for 17-year-old Intel 'Carillo Ranch' motherboards because they don't seem to exist

Intel logo on blue background.
(Image credit: Intel)

Linux is finally removing support for Intel's Carillo Ranch motherboards (first added in 2006) in a recent patch, according to Phoronix. Linux doesn't typically remove support for hardware that's simply old, however: The Carillo Ranch drivers are being removed because it seems Carillo Ranch just... never came out.

It seems that way, anyway. Carillo Ranch has virtually no digital footprint; it's nigh impossible to find any info on it that doesn't pertain to its driver support being yanked from Linux. As far as we can tell, Carillo Ranch was supposed to be a platform/motherboard for EP80579 embedded CPUs, which combined a Pentium M core known as Tolapai with the Vermillion Range chipset and a memory controller.

Linux removed two Carillo Ranch drivers: one made by Tungsten Graphics (which was acquired by VMWare in 2008) and one made by MontaVista. Interestingly, if you Google "Intel Carillo Ranch" in quotes, it redirects you to "Intel Carrillo Ranch," and the sole result takes you to MontaVista's contact form, which has a prefilled enquiry: "I would like to hear more about the Board: Intel Carrillo Ranch Pentium M compatible Vermillion Range."

According to the patch, Carillo Ranch either never came out, or, if it did, no longer exists. But that might not be the case? The drivers at one point refer to Carillo Ranch as "LE80578," and searching for LE80578 on Google returns tons of listings for HP Laserjet printers advertising an 800MHz LE80578 processor. What's strange about this is that EP80579 is supposed to be the CPU, while LE80578 is just the motherboard. Intel's ARK database has data for its EP80579 family but nothing concerning LE80578 motherboards or processors.

Whatever the case may be, these Carillo Ranch drivers seem to be vestigial at best (and have possibly been so for the past 15+ years), and realistically are not used today. The drivers' removal will likely go unnoticed by anyone not reading this article, but on the off-chance this does screw up someone's computer, somewhere, maybe we'll hear about it and figure out what Carillo Ranch (Carrillo Ranch?) really is.

Matthew Connatser

Matthew Connatser is a freelancing writer for Tom's Hardware US. He writes articles about CPUs, GPUs, SSDs, and computers in general.