Chip makers form Linaro to improve Linux hardware disties

IBM, Samsung Electronics and Texas Instruments have chipped together to launch Linaro – a new software engineering foundation dedicated to improving Linux distributions, used in consumer devices.

The new not-for-profit venture by the chip makers is said to try and take the success Linux has seen in large enterprise software and give it a more mainstream twist by helping it to break into the TV, tablets, smartphones and netbooks market which are currently dominated by Windows, Symbian, Blackberry and Apple’s iPhone operating system.

It is hoped these open source projects can then be used by Linux-based distributions such as Android, LiMo, MeeGo, Ubuntu and webOS.

Tom Lantzsch, interim CEO of Linaro and an executive vice president at Arm Holdings said at Computex that the Foundation, which has also been joined by Arm, Freescale Semiconductor and ST-Ericsson will throw “tens of millions of dollars” per year at the venture.

He said in a statement: “The dramatic growth of open source software development can now be seen in internet-based, always-connected mobile and consumer products.

“Linaro will help accelerate this trend further by increasing investment on key open source projects and providing industry alignment with the community to deliver the best Linux-based products for the benefit of the consumer.”

As well as the money the six companies will also join forces and share their open source engineering resources as well as contribute to a wide range of open source projects. The 20 engineers working on the project will also create developer tools for Linux makers so they can take better advantage of the complex chips made by the founding members of the group, mainly chips with Arm processing cores.

And it seems they are already on their way,  with the group already announcing a project that is already in place is for fast boot kernel technology, so Linux distributions start up faster on devices.