Newly formed company Linaro is backed financially by a coterie of big companies.
Typically, companies wanting to develop for ARM processors--one of the most prolific chip designs in the world--need to wade through a morass of different operating systems and versions of those operating systems. Those include Google's Android and Chrome OSes, Ubuntu Linux, Palm's WebOS, and MeeGo from Intel and Nokia. The new company, Linaro, is a non-profit software engineering outfit that intends to simplify the development process and is backed to the tune of "tens of millions of dollars" by its founding members, Tom Lantzsch, an executive officer at Linaro, said in a phone interview.
ARM's chief rival, Intel, has an advantage because it doesn't face as unwieldy a ecosystem as ARM does. In short, Intel is one chip company with one chip architecture. ARM chips--used widely in cell phones, smartphones, and expected to populate a raft of upcoming tablets--are designed and manufactured by range of companies including Texas Instruments, Qualcomm, Nvidia, Freescale, ST-Ericsson, and Samsung.
"On the one side you have many chips, and on the other side you have many distributions (software versions)," said Lantzsch. Linaro's goal is to make sure the latest software version can be readily "ported" to the latest silicon. "Imagine two tablet makers going to the same silicon vendor. Let's say Texas Instruments in this case. And both want to get a tablet into the market and both want to do that, for example, on Android. What you'll find is there are differences in the versions (of Android). And then you'll have other tablet makers wanting to do a tablet on Chrome or MeeGo," Lantzsch said. The resources of TI and its customers will be strained to meet all these competing demands, he said. Linaro aims to streamline and optimize this process.
"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 (chips), every six months," the company said in a statement. Linaro's first software and tools release is due out in November and will provide optimizations for the latest range of ARM CortexTM-A family of processors, the company said.
You can find FAQ which answers questions like -- Q5. Is this just Ubuntu on ARM? and Q8. How is Linaro different from Android, MeeGo, LiMo or other similar distribution?
Linaro - Software foundations for an open digital world
Linaro™ brings together the open source community and the electronics industry to work on key projects, deliver great tools, reduce industry wide fragmentation and provide common foundations for Linux software distributions and stacks to land on.
Read blog which explains "The need for Linaro". Find resource for developer which are hosted on Launchpad as Linaro Launchpad Project Page. Find community where developer can involved, contribute & participate which have pages like Wiki, Blogs, Events and Newsletter. This blog mention in details answer to "The need for Linaro" also very interesting pages to read How Linaro Works and About Linaro Why Linaro?
Making open source development easier and faster
Open source has been one of the biggest trends in embedded electronics over the last few years and it has enabled a diverse range of products with a multitude of software stacks and distributions. Today's web enabled gadgets often have millions of lines of code, built from thousands of open source software packages. Much of the complexity of using open source is the wide choice available for each component and software package. Choice of software components at the top of the software stack helps enable differentiation of products such as Applications framework, Multimedia framework, UI and web components. This software choice is not limited to the application level but extends all the way down to low level software around the Linux® kernel e.g. power management, boot process and includes choices over version of Linux kernel and tools used.