Networking Leaders Collaborate to Maximize Choice, Performance and Power Efficiency background image

Networking Leaders Collaborate to Maximize Choice, Performance and Power Efficiency

Linaro - Author


Industry leaders including AppliedMicro, Arm, Enea, Freescale®, LSI, MontaVista, Nokia Siemens Networks and Texas Instruments (TI) have formed a new group focused on accelerating Linux development for Arm processors in cloud and mobile infrastructure.

Linaro, the not-for-profit engineering organization developing open source software for the Arm® architecture, today announced the formation of the Linaro Networking Group (LNG) with twelve founding member companies including AppliedMicro, Arm, Enea, Freescale, LSI, MontaVista, Nokia Siemens Networks and Texas Instruments (TI) at the Embedded Linux Conference (ELC).

With Arm-based SoCs at the heart of the transformation occurring in cloud and mobile infrastructure applications such as switching, routing, base-stations and security, Linaro’s members are collaborating on fundamental software platforms to enable rapid deployment of new services across a range of converged infrastructure platforms. Developing the base platform for diverse and complex networking applications requires a significant amount of software that addresses common challenges. LNG will deliver this as an enhanced core Linux platform for networking equipment. Linaro has been providing common core software for Arm-Powered®, Linux-based mobile devices since June 2010 with recognized success, and it is now building on the collaborative working model that it has created to form special groups focusing on the server and networking segments.

Networking infrastructure is undergoing a transformation driven by the ramp in diverse data being moved through disparate networks to and from billions of diverse devices. The industry needs to simplify the management of the network as well as create new applications that will enable cloud service providers, carriers and others to reliably provide a great user experience across expanded mobility use cases and the increasing globally-connected intelligence of devices. Enterprises need to scale their networks and their network management capabilities to cope with these demands and also enable the rapid evolution of applications for new revenue-generating business models. LNG will accelerate this transformation through its initial focus on fundamental optimizations for use across all Arm-based networking infrastructure equipment.

“The strength of the Arm community is in working together and innovating,” said George Grey, CEO of Linaro. “We are very pleased to host the new Linaro Networking Group software engineering team, focused on consolidating and optimizing common software for networking equipment applications using Arm SoCs. We look forward to working with SoC vendors, equipment manufacturers and members of the software ecosystem in building and maintaining world-class open source foundation software for this market.”

Linaro has a unique business model where multiple companies jointly invest in a software engineering team that creates core open source software in a collaborative and transparent environment. The effectiveness of Linaro’s approach has been demonstrated by Linaro becoming one of the largest company contributors to recent Linux kernels*. Linaro’s contribution to improving Arm’s support in the open source Linux community has also been recognized by Linus Torvalds**.

“Linux and collaborative development are the drivers for innovation supporting new data and networking demands. The Linaro Networking Group will help advance important work in this area,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation. “We look forward to ongoing collaboration with Linaro, including its participation at this year’s Embedded Linux Conference.”

An interim steering committee for LNG has been meeting since the end of 2012 and has agreed on four initial areas of work:

  1. Virtualization support with considerations for real-time performance, I/O optimization, robustness and heterogeneous operating environments on multi-core SoCs.
  2. Real-time operations and the Linux kernel optimizations for the control and data plane.
  3. Packet processing optimizations that maximize performance and minimize latency in data flows through the network.
  4. Dealing with legacy software and mixed-endian issues prevalent in the networking space.

Linaro expects initial software deliveries from the Linaro Networking Group during the first half of 2013 with on-going monthly releases thereafter.

*Sources: Statistics from the 3.7 development cycle Jonathan Corbet, LWN, 28 November 2012: (subscription required), Who wrote 3.5? Greg Kroah-Hartman, LWN, 25 July 2012: (subscription required) and earlier LWN articles.

_Source: Torvalds touts Linux’s advances in power, Arm and cell phones Paula Rooney, ZDNet, 30 August 2012

About Linaro

Linaro is the place where engineers from the world’s leading technology companies define the future of Linux on Arm. The company is a not-for-profit engineering organization with over 140 engineers working on consolidating and optimizing open source software for the Arm architecture, including developer tools, the Linux kernel, Arm power management, and other software infrastructure. Linaro is distribution neutral: it wants to provide the best software foundations to everyone, and to reduce non-differentiating and costly low level fragmentation.

To ensure commercial quality software, Linaro’s work includes comprehensive test and validation on member hardware platforms. The full scope of Linaro’s engineering work is open to all online. To find out more, please visit .

Linaro Networking Group (LNG) Founding Member Testimonials

Applied Micro Circuits Corporation

“With AppliedMicro’s rich history in high speed connectivity, we quickly grasped the potential the Linaro Networking Group offers our customers and the industry at large,” said Mike Major, vice president of corporate marketing. “As the producer of the world’s first Arm 64-bit server on a chip and a founding member of the Linaro Enterprise Group, we well understand the promise of open hardware and software, and we look forward to working with the Linaro Networking Group.”

About AppliedMicro: Applied Micro Circuits Corporation is a global leader in computing and connectivity solutions for next-generation cloud infrastructure and data centers. AppliedMicro delivers silicon solutions that dramatically lower total cost of ownership. Corporate headquarters are located in Sunnyvale, California. See for more information.

Media contact: Diane Orr,


“The creation of the Linaro Networking Group reflects the opportunity for Arm architecture-based platforms, across cloud and mobile infrastructure, to meet the demand for energy efficient, high performance and scalable networks. This dramatic shift is being driven by the expansion of connected devices, related analytics and applications, and the introduction of new services,” said Ian Drew, executive vice president, Marketing, Arm. “The Linaro Networking Group enables networking infrastructure stakeholders to accelerate their next generation deployment of reliable, scalable and secure high performance networks, with optimized open source software platforms.”

About Arm: Arm designs the technology that lies at the heart of advanced digital products, from wireless, networking and consumer entertainment solutions to imaging, automotive, security and storage devices. Arm’s comprehensive product offering includes 32-bit RISC microprocessors, graphics processors, video engines, enabling software, cell libraries, embedded memories, high-speed connectivity products, peripherals and development tools. Combined with comprehensive design services, training, support and maintenance, and the company’s broad Partner community, they provide a total system solution that offers a fast, reliable path to market for leading electronics companies. See for more information. Media contacts: Raymond Deplazes,; Simon Hilliard,


“Enea has provided software for Arm based architectures since the nineties. Our membership in the Linaro Networking Group (LNG) reflects our commitment to Linux and to Arm in the networking space. It is an important strategic step towards our goal to become the leading embedded Linux provider for Arm based systems”, says Tobias Lindquist, CTO, Enea. “As an independent Linux provider, Enea is in a strong position to focus on the needs of network equipment manufacturers and on software solutions that are hardware vendor agnostic”.

About Enea: Enea is a global vendor of Linux and Real-time operating system solutions including middleware, tools, protocols and services. The company is a world leader in developing software platforms for communication-driven products in multiple verticals, with extreme demands on high-availability and performance. For more information, please visit: Media contact: Catharina Paulcén,

Freescale Semiconductor

“With strong market share leadership in communications processing and a deep understanding of both Linux and Arm technologies, Freescale is well positioned to play a key role in accelerating Linux development for the Arm architecture,” said Tareq Bustami, vice president of product management for Freescale’s Digital Networking group. “Serving as a founding member of the Linaro Networking Group is an extension of our work within open source and a new focus for our relationship with Linaro. We look forward to working together with other leading players within the group to advance Linux technology for our customers and the larger industry.”

About Freescale: Freescale Semiconductor is a global leader in embedded processing solutions, providing industry-leading products that are advancing the automotive, consumer, industrial and networking markets. From microprocessors and microcontrollers to sensors, analog integrated circuits and connectivity – our technologies are the foundation for the innovations that make our world greener, safer, healthier and more connected. Some of our key applications and end-markets include automotive safety, hybrid and all-electric vehicles, next generation wireless infrastructure, smart energy management, portable medical devices, consumer appliances and smart mobile devices. The company is based in Austin, Texas, and has design, research and development, manufacturing and sales operations around the world. See for more information.


“LSI’s industry leading Axxia Multicore processor platform based on Arm CPU’s is designed to intelligently handle the explosive growth of traffic in mobile and enterprise environments. LSI’s collaboration with the Linaro Networking Group and its open source Linux ecosystem initiatives will further drive system deployment and reduce total ownership costs for service providers”, said Jon Devlin, Director, Networking Ecosystem, LSI.

About LSI: LSI Corporation designs semiconductors and software that accelerate storage and networking in datacenters, mobile networks and client computing. Our technology is the intelligence critical to enhanced application performance, and is applied in solutions created in collaboration with our partners. More information is available at


“MontaVista is the only provider of Carrier Grade Linux on Arm processors today. We are extremely excited about enabling this new and disruptive architecture into the Network Infrastructure and Telecommunication markets,” said Patrick MacCartee, Director of Marketing for MontaVista Software. “The Linaro Networking Group will play a crucial role by ensuring that the industry has a robust and rich software ecosystem necessary to support the next generation of Arm-based telecom and software defined network solutions.”

About MontaVista: MontaVista Software, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cavium, Inc. (NASDAQ: CAVM), is a leader in embedded Linux commercialization. For over 10 years, MontaVista has been helping embedded developers get the most out of open source by adding commercial quality, integration, hardware enablement, expert support, and the resources of the MontaVista development community. Because MontaVista customers enjoy faster time to market, more competitive device functionality, and lower total cost, more devices have been deployed with MontaVista than with any other Linux. To learn more, please visit

Nokia Siemens Networks

“Embedded networking software has been very fragmented due to point optimized hardware implementations. As a founding member of Linaro Networking Group, Nokia Siemens Networks is committed to collaborating in the creation of the Linux ecosystem for Arm that enables easier adoption of new technology while leaving room for innovative SoC designs”, says Jarmo Hillo, Head of Processor Technology at Nokia Siemens Networks.

About Nokia Siemens Networks: Nokia Siemens Networks is the world’s specialist in mobile broadband. From the first ever call on GSM, to the first call on LTE, we operate at the forefront of each generation of mobile technology. Our global experts invent the new capabilities our customers need in their networks. We provide the world’s most efficient mobile networks, the intelligence to maximize the value of those networks, and the services to make it all work seamlessly.

With headquarters in Espoo, Finland, Nokia Siemens Networks operates in over 100 countries and had net sales of approximately 13.8 billion euros in 2012. More information is available at Media contact: Riitta Mård,

Texas Instruments (TI)

About TI: Texas Instruments semiconductor innovations help 90,000 customers unlock the possibilities of the world as it could be – smarter, safer, greener, healthier and more fun. Our commitment to building a better future is ingrained in everything we do – from the responsible manufacturing of our semiconductors, to caring for our employees, to giving back inside our communities. This is just the beginning of our story. Learn more at