ARM, IBM, and four additional vendors have founded a new not-for-profit company, Linaro, committed to providing new resources and industry alignment for open source software developers using Linux on sophisticated semiconductor System-on-Chips (SoCs). Linaro's work will help developers and manufacturers provide consumers with more choice, more responsive devices and more diverse applications on Linux-based systems.
"IBM believes that leadership with Linux solutions begins with effective collaboration in the community, and IBM's 10-year history of working with the Linux community has resulted in a strong, mutually beneficial relationship," states Daniel Frye, vice president, open systems development, IBM. "IBM's ongoing collaboration has contributed to the widespread adoption of Linux throughout the data center. We are strong proponents of working with partners such as ARM to further our commitment, ensuring Embedded Linux is the leading platform for innovation in the mobile and consumer electronics markets."
Linaro will work with the growing number of Linux distributions to create regular releases of optimized tools and foundation software that can be used widely by the industry, increasing compatibility across semiconductors from multiple suppliers. As a result, Linaro's resources and open source solutions will allow device manufacturers to speed up development time, improve performance and reduce engineering time spent on non-differentiating, low-level software. Linux distributions, open source and proprietary software projects will benefit from Linaro's investment, with more stable code becoming widely available as a common base for innovation. The company's first release is planned for November 2010 and will provide performance optimizations for SoCs based on the ARM Cortex-A processor family. In addition to ARM and IBM, additional founding members, Freescale, Samsung, ST-Ericsson, and Texas Instruments, will align open source engineering efforts within Linaro.
"The existence of Linaro will significantly simplify the process of making Linux-based consumer devices available to market," observes Jane Silber, CEO of Canonical. "By standardizing many of the core software components, companies can focus on creating great user experiences on embedded devices through to smart phones. Canonical is delighted to participate in what will be a significant driver of the success of Linux on ARM, in the consumer electronics market."
To further its mission, Linaro aims to unite the open source engineering resources within its member firms with the broad open source community. Linaro engineers, leveraging their extensive embedded knowledge, will contribute to a wide range of open source projects covering areas such as tools, kernel, graphics and boot code. Linaro intends to work in partnership with the Linux Foundation to align on core operating principles. Additional partners are expected to join, expanding the range of expertise that is brought to the open source community. Companies interested in joining are invited to discuss membership with Linaro executives.
For more information on the company and future access to software and tools, go here.