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Big Tech Unites to Create Linux OS Software

Facebook, Hewlett-Packard, Red Hat and other vendors have come together to help develop a Linux OS software for ARM servers, according to a company announcement.

AMD, AppliedMicro, Calxeda, Canonical and Cavium are amongst the other top tech companies to join Linaro, a not-for-profit engineering organization. The Linaro Enterprise Group (LEG) engineering team is also currently in Copenhagen where over 300 engineers from over 80 companies are meeting to discuss the future of Linux on ARM.

“Linaro is building a high-quality software engineering team that is working with our members on the development of key enabling software for the new generation of low-power, high-performance, hyperscale servers,” said George Grey, chief executive officer of Linaro. “We are especially pleased with the broad industry support and to be working with commercial Linux providers and OEMs in addition to SoC vendors to ensure that we meet the requirements of all members of the ecosystem.”

According to Linaro, the collaboration will benefit the industry in multiple ways, including “time to market acceleration, lower development costs and access to innovated and differentiated systems.”

At a recent ARM developer conference, TechCon, ARM CEO Warren East said that with key industry players coming together to collaborate on the future of software shows the “transformational position the industry is now in.”

“As power and energy become increasing costs to business, there continues to be a need to drive down costs and this means a total reinvention of the server space,” East said. “There will be a range of server solutions based on ARM technology as the entire business community looks to reduce cost of ownership and achieve energy efficiency.”

Ultimately, however, East said it’s the partnership approach that is the most important when encouraging,
“innovation in this space. By changing the way we process data, the opportunity for a smarter, more connected future can be truly realized.”

Linaro’s approach to bringing multiple companies to “jointly invest in a software engineering team,” has made the company the third-largest contributor to the Linux 3.5 kernel.

“Linux is driving innovation in every area of computing from mobile and embedded to the cloud. Linaro’s enterprise efforts will bring together software engineers to help accelerate Linux development for ARM servers, and were confident that this new server-focused group will advance Linux in these areas and offer additional choices to Linux users around the world,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation.

According to the company release, they expect software delivery by the end of 2012, with releases thereafter. ARM servers will most likely be initially adopted in hyperscale computing environments. Linaro says that the LEG will “initially work on low-level Linux boot architecture and kernel software for use by SoC vendors, commercial Linux providers and OEMs in delivering the next generation of low-power ARM-based 32- and 64-bit servers.”

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