Linaro gains momentum and demonstrates progress accelerating open source development

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CAMBRIDGE, UK – 10 NOV 2010

Linaro completes 10.11 release on time and showcases its engineering on multiple ARM Cortex-A9 chips running multiple software distributions

Linaro (announced at Computex by ARM, Freescale, IBM, Samsung, ST-Ericsson and Texas Instruments) completes its first engineering cycle (10.11) on the 10th November with a demonstration of tools and software improved by Linaro being used on the latest Cortex-A9 based chips.

  • Linaro is building on this momentum and expanding the number of Working Groups to five, covering: Graphics, Multimedia, Power Management, Tools and Kernel.
  • Linaro’s engineering team has grown from 20 to 70 open source developers with new talent added every month.
  • To strengthen Linaro’s governance, TI joins ARM on the board along with IBM in representation of all Club Members.
  • Linaro’s members will be demonstrating multiple software distributions built with Linaro software and tools on multiple dual core Cortex-A9 System on Chip (SoC) products at ARM Techcon (Santa Clara, CA) on the 10th November.
  • Linaro has delivered on its first goal of investing directly in open source projects, consolidating, restructuring and tuning code to run optimally on ARM based System on Chip (SoC) solutions from multiple partners in a clean and consistent way.
  • All Linaro software – whether development tools or Linux based projects – is open source, on its way upstream and easily available from the website.
  • Linaro has created an effective, collaborative and open engineering organisation by bringing talent together from all over the world to fix industry wide problems such as low-level software fragmentation and under-investment in open source projects.
  • Linaro has worked on the latest releases of tools, kernel and middleware enabling optimized software for the new range of high performance Cortex-A9 based chips that are entering the market.
  • The focus of Linaro is to reduce the cycle time required to develop Linux based products that fully utilise the latest SoC solutions.

Linaro showcases progress and momentum for its collaborative embedded Linux organisation at ARM Techcon in Santa Clara. In a demonstration that shows Linaro delivering on its mission to make open source development easier, quicker and more optimized, Samsung, ST-Ericsson and TI will be showcasing multiple open source distributions, running on multiple SoCs using code or tools that have been enhanced by Linaro.

“Linaro can help change the embedded open source world for the better by reducing non-value-add fragmentation and creating a place where the ARM partnership can collaborate to advance open source,” said Leonard Tsai, vice president of Compal Innovation Design & Technology. “Everyone will be winners with a diverse range of great connected products that perform better, take less power and are quicker to market.”

Linaro delivers on launch promises

At the June Computex launch of Linaro, it was stated that Linaro would be building a team of approximately 100 expert software developers. As of the 10th of November, six months after launch, Linaro has ramped its engineering to over 70 developers and continues to add new talent every month. These open source developers have been working on two key areas: improving development tools and consolidating Linux kernel SoC support for the latest ARM Cortex-A9 and Cortex-A8 based chips. In accordance with its open engineering principles, all Working Groups and platform engineering has been done in the open and is available for inspection on the developer wiki. The output of this work enables a consolidation of the best Linux on ARM and the best open source development tools for ARMv7A to be available to everyone. Linaro has added Community resources to its website for those that want to get involved or align engineering without the strategic commitment of Core or Club membership:www.linaro.org/community.

Linaro gains momentum

The rapid increase in open source developers working for Linaro has enabled an expansion of Working Groups for the second engineering cycle (11.05). The addition of three new Working Groups will make it easier to create stunning products with advanced multimedia, graphics and exceptional battery life. To strengthen Linaro’s governance, TI joins ARM on the board along with IBM in representation of all Club Members. The new board have recently selected George Grey as CEO to add further experience to Linaro’s executive team. Linaro announces today that it is creating a new Advisory group for software distribution owners, so that they have a formal channel to discuss their needs and wants with the TSC who set the Linaro engineering requirements.

Linaro demonstrates easier, quicker and more optimized open source

In a significant demonstration at Techcon on 10th of November, Samsung, ST-Ericsson and TI will showcase 3 different software distributions on 3 different Cortex-A9 based SoCs using software or tools that have been enhanced by Linaro’s developers

“These demonstrations show the latest ARM based SoCs running multiple distributions and built with software or tools that have benefited from Linaro’s aligned engineering,” said George Grey, CEO of Linaro. “By providing the best open source tools and software and helping to enable them on the most advanced Cortex-A9 chips, we are helping to unify and accelerate open source development.”

In the second cycle Linaro will build on this momentum by:

  • Investing in more open source projects relating to graphics, multimedia and power management
  • Expanding the number of SoCs which support this software and support for leading edge cores
  • Announcing distribution owners as Advisors to Linaro
  • Announcing a new member of the TSC

Companies interested in joining this collaborative venture are invited to discuss membership with the Linaro executive team. For more information on the company or to download software and tools, visit www.linaro.org.

Background

The biggest trend enabling advanced connected, consumer electronics devices is open source software. Connected devices such as smartphones, mobile computing, DTV, STB and infotainment devices are built in their billions every year and are increasingly turning to Linux. Developing embedded devices based on Linux and the many open source projects that make up a typical open source software platform has been challenging for OEMs and ODMs. A mixture of software fragmentation and under investment in open source projects has slowed down the development. Linaro was created to provide a focal point for embedded Linux developers, reducing low level fragmentation and providing aligned investment in open source projects to accelerate open source development for consumer devices.

Industry quotes

“The Linux Foundation welcomes the increase in upstream investment that Linaro has made on behalf of the ARM community,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director of Linux Foundation. “The collaborative engineering work Linaro is doing in the Linux kernel will help accelerate innovation in open source.”

“LiMo Foundation commends the fast pace of progress within Linaro and the sustained expansion of its engineering team which is realising reference implementations from multiple silicon vendors,” said Morgan Gillis, executive director of LiMo Foundation. “We will continue to align with Linaro’s activities through active participation with a view to produce further efficiencies for companies commercialising on the LiMo Platform.”

“Linaro has ramped up its collaborative engineering organisation and is already delivering on its mission to make it easier and quicker to develop optimized open source devices,” said Mike Muller, CTO of ARM. “This is the best place for the ARM partnership to work together to deliver the best Linux and open source on the latest Cortex-A class processors.”

“Freescale is committed to simplifying the investment our customers make to bring an i.MX based product to market, and Linaro is a key part of this task,” said Bernd Lienhard, vice president and general manager of Freescale’s Multimedia Applications Division. “We are committed to Linaro’s support for Android and other Linux distributions.”

“IBM is pleased to see that the resources and open source expertise committed by partners to the Linaro organization are already yielding results,” said Mark Ireland, vice president of semiconductor products and services at IBM. “Open source based product development will be easier and quicker for OEMs and ODMs as a result of Linaro’s aligned engineering and efforts to reduce low-level fragmentation.”

“During the first six months of operations, our engineers have been participating in several Linaro Working Groups and we already see multiple benefits from the initiative,” said Enrica Filippi, head of software ecosystem and strategy at ST-Ericsson. “We have gotten access to a network of highly-skilled developers from the open source communities, together with high-quality software patches and tools, enabling our code to move faster upstream and into the Linux kernel source. Linaro is helping both OEMs and semiconductor companies to shorten the development time of Linux devices based on ARM CPUs.”

“TI is thrilled to work hand-in-hand with the Linaro community to accelerate open source initiatives, and to align on the importance of reducing software fragmentation across the industry,” said Ari Rauch, senior director of software and system engineering, OMAP™ products and wireless business unit at TI. “We believe that open source Linux – married with high-performance ARM®-based architectures like TI’s OMAP 4 processors – will fuel outstanding possibilities for the next-generation of connected devices.”

“As a long time supporter of embedded Linux for ARM processors, MontaVista is excited to be working with Linaro as a commercialization partner,” said Jim Ready, CTO of MontaVista Software. “Our goal is to integrate Linaro’s open source projects into MontaVista Linux in order to provide commercial support and services for the ARM ecosystem and device manufacturers.”

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