ARM, Freescale Semiconductor, IBM, Samsung, ST-Ericsson and Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI), today announced the formation of Linaro, a not-for-profit open source software engineering company dedicated to promoting Linux-based systems.
The venture is expected to develop key parts of operating systems, programming tools and other software, initially targeting chips based on ARM designs.
Linaro plans to accelerate innovation among Linux developers on the most advanced semiconductor SoCs (System-on-Chip). The current wave of "always-connected, always-on" devices requires complex SoCs to achieve the performance and low power consumers demand. Linaro was formed to increase investment in open source, address the challenges in developing products for sophisticated consumer markets and provide the support of a broad array of semiconductor products from multiple companies. By providing the common foundations of tools and software for other distributions and stacks to build upon, Linaro enables greater operational efficiency for the electronics industry.
Linaro?s outputs will also accelerate the abundance of new consumer products that use Linux-based distributions such as Android, LiMo, MeeGo, Ubuntu and webOS in conjunction with advanced semiconductor SoCs to provide the new features at the lowest possible power consumption.
"The dramatic growth of open source software development can now be seen in internet-based, always-connected mobile and consumer products," said Tom Lantzsch, executive officer, Linaro. "Linaro will help accelerate this trend further by increasing investment on key open source projects and providing industry alignment with the community to deliver the best Linux-based products for the benefit of the consumer."
Linaro will work with Linux distributions to create regular releases of tools and foundation software that can be used by the industry, increasing compatibility across semiconductors from multiple suppliers.
Linaro engineers 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.
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.