Linaro Group Forms To Hasten Time To Market For Linux-Based Smartphones

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News Posted: Thu, Jun 3 2010 1:10 PM
You don't really have to keep a finger on the pulse of the smartphonelandscape to know that ARM and Freescale are bitter rivals, and Samsungand Texas Instruments are constantly vying for similar business. Sohonestly, you probably wouldn't expect four companies who are generallyconsidered enemies to ever really be friends. And you definitelywouldn't expect them to join together for the greater good. But that'sexactly what has happened.

ARM, Freescale, IBM, Samsung, ST-Ericsson and Texas Instruments havepushed aside their differences long enough to form a new non-profitcompany called Linaro, which aims to "unite industry leaders to fosterinnovation in the Linux community through a common foundation of toolsand software." While there still seems to be a lot of vagueness in thegeneral long-term goals of these companies, one thing is pretty clear:they're all interested in investing as a group in order to provideunified middleware that will enable Linux-based operating systems (like MeeGo, LiMo, WebOS, Android, etc.) run on a variety of SoCs from variouscompanies.

Each six months, Linaro will publish an approved set of updated toolsfor the partner vendors to use, which will supposedly cut down oninefficiencies today and speed the time to market for other Android/Meego/etc. devices.Basically, if there's less middleware work to do, you can bring out anew Linux-based phone with less wait time. The first release is expectedthis November, with initial optimizations for the latest range of ARMCortex-Afamily of processors.Will the consumer ever known that Linaro had a part in their nextphone? Probably not, but if they get it faster and it works smoother,they may grow to appreciate the efforts that they cannot see.

News highlights

  • ARM, Freescale, IBM, Samsung, ST-Ericsson and Texas Instruments have created the not-for-profit company, Linaro, committed to providing new resources and industry alignment for open source software developers using Linux on the world’s most sophisticated semiconductor System-on-Chips (SoCs).
  • Linaro will invest resources in open source projects that can then be used by Linux-based distributions such as Android, LiMo, MeeGo, Ubuntu and webOS.
  • Linaro will provide a stable and optimized base for distributions and developers by creating new releases of optimized tools, kernel and middleware software validated for a wide range of SoCs, every six months.
  • Linaro’s base of software and tools will be applicable to a wide range of markets, helping reduce time-to-market for products such as smart phones, tablets, digital televisions, automotive entertainment and enterprise equipment.
  • Linaro’s first software and tools release is due out in November 2010, and will provide optimizations for the latest range of ARM® CortexTM-A family of processors.
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rapid1 replied on Fri, Jun 4 2010 10:38 AM

Wow that's a conglomerate for sure. You definitely would not see several of these players working together, especially with IBM! Well lets hope strange bedfellows make pretty babies lol. This kind of goes along the lines of what I have been talking about specifically with the I wonder if M$ is starting to worry a litte bit.

With major players like these embracing Linux in the mobile hardware/software space I can see some great things. I think Big Bill needs to get back on board at M$ like his old crony Steve Job's has done. I say this because I don't see M$ current leadership really doing much at all. Mister Gates and mister Job's to a large part made this digital world because they were (and 1 still is) pushing the boundaries.

While the other is bouncing around the globe trying to give away as much money as possible (sounds like some major guilt complex to me), while his company employees, and therefore to a large part lowers the living standards of third world countries.

The main point here is Apple to a large part runs on an OS that basically is a form of Linux because it is a customized UNIX shell. Where as almost every mobile device runs on (Android, Meego, symbian, Limo, Ubuntu Mobile, Web OS) some form of Linux. Having a communal basis for it, and M$ basically eating from the bottom of the pile with there Smart Phones/Netbook OS's etc for a few years now, I can see them going out.

This is especially true when you consider things like the 3G/4G EVO (oft called the iPhone killer) hitting the market today. The speeds (webwise), and capabilities brought to your hand by the hardware is almost entirely astounding. This unit is also the first 4G capable device available in the US period, and runs Android!

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