Companies Form Linaro Open Source Software Engineering Non-Profit

ARM, Freescale Semiconductor, IBM, Samsung, ST-Ericsson and Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI), announced the formation of Linaro, a not-for-profit open source software engineering company dedicated to enhancing open source innovation for the next wave of always-connected, always-on computing. Linaro’s work will help developers and manufacturers provide consumers with more choice, more responsive devices and more diverse applications on Linux-based systems.

Linaro aligns the expertise of industry-leading electronics companies 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.

Background
Traditionally, the Linux and open-source software communities focused on solving the software problems of enterprise and computing markets with a limited choice of processor platforms. The open source community is transitioning to create advanced Web-centric consumer devices using high profile open source based distributions and a wide range of high-performance, low-power ARM®-based SoCs. Linaro will make it easier and quicker to develop advanced products with these high profile distributions by creating software commonality across semiconductor SoCs, from multiple companies.

Consumer Benefits
In addition to providing a focal point for open source software developers, consumers will benefit by the formation of Linaro. Linaro’s outputs will 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 consumers desire 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 Software and Tools
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.

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.

The company’s first release is planned for November 2010 and will provide performance optimizations for SoCs based on the ARM Cortex[tm]-A processor family.

In addition to ARM and IBM, four of the world’s leading application processor companies, Freescale, Samsung, ST-Ericsson and Texas Instruments, will align open source engineering efforts within Linaro.

Linaro is a growing organization with additional partners expected to join, thus 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.

About Linaro
Linaro[tm] is a Not-For-Profit (NFP) software engineering company that works with the open source community to make it easier and faster to develop open source based devices. Linaro has the aim of investing new resources and aligning efforts from the industry to continuously improve and optimize open source software and tools on the ARM architecture with the goal of accelerating industry innovation.

Linux® is the registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in the U.S. and other countries.