Until now, Linaro has principally been focused on short-term challenges and needs from our members. As some of the more pressing issues have been resolved we have started to look further into the future. With input from all of our members we have been working on the creation of a 2+ year roadmap for Linaro.
Given ARM’s recent announcements of the A7, and the A15/A7 big.LITTLE architecture, together with their 64 bit architecture preview, there is no shortage of work to do. We expect to formally publish the first version of the roadmap this month.
At the highest level we have created a chart of the major projects that we expect to undertake. Near term (next 6 month) projects are already underway and commitments are being made to our members for deliverables and timetable – the further out we go, the more things are subject to change according to priorities, market changes and member needs. Behind each project is a more detailed description of the deliverable, its priority, its sponsor, together with acceptance criteria for successful delivery. Each project will be tracked using blueprints and extensions to our existing Linaro engineering tracking, and will be viewable at https://releases.linaro.org
By openly publishing our plans we hope that the ARM ecosystem will recognize that many of these projects are shared goals, and that it is far more effective to achieve them together within Linaro as members, rather than for each company to individually engineer a solution, only to result in fragmentation, high on-going maintenance costs and non-upstreamable code. We also expect that our members will continue to come up with new requirements to be added to the roadmap.
While on the subject of looking forward, we expect to add new members to Linaro in 2012. I have been asked why other ARM SoC vendors should join Linaro given the quality of public deliverables being created by the company. Linaro’s goal is to generate substantial ROI for our members through sharing the engineering costs of developing common core open source consolidation and optimization. There are substantial benefits to being a member of Linaro, including that we maintain and support only our member SoCs in Linaro; we implement all our work and roadmap technologies on our member SoCs; only Linaro Members have access to the world-class open source expertise within Linaro; only Linaro Members have access to Linaro’s continuous test & validation framework for upstream kernel and key distribution testing; and, most important of all, we want to demonstrate to OEM and ODM customers that because of Linaro, using member ARM SoCs lowers costs and accelerates their time to market compared to other SoC vendors. Lastly – it is our members that determine our roadmap, and it is they that get to use our deliverables created on their hardware first, with a time to market advantage over their competitors. In summary we want to ensure that it is our members who benefit first and foremost from what we do.