> With ARM SoCs, the reference designs I have seen have a shelf life of 2 years
At my last work, I was developing a new medical product based on a 4 years old ARM SoC design on a custom PCB. The product was intended to be manufactured using the same ARM SoC for 10 to 15 years after we were done, with each manufactured product having a lifespan (with support and component replacement) for 15-20 years. In other words, the 4 year old SoC were expected to still be available for another 30 years or so.
Most of us engineers figured it would break down by 2038, seeing how arm32 uses a 32 bit time_t, but there was no telling management that ;-).
> yes, but there is no expectation of running a vanilla kernel on those
We were using a mainline 2.6.39 kernel with a few vendor-supplied 2.6.37-based drivers we forward-ported ourselves.