Local Tech Wire

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – IBM (NYSE: IBM) is teaming up with several other firms to form a new venture that will focus on development of Linux-based semiconductor chips.

The focus of the not-for-profit company, which is called , will be on system-on-chip development for use in a variety of mobile devices and enterprise equipment, using open source.

Other partners include other chip-technology related firms ARM, Freescale, Samsung, ST-Ericsson and Texas Instruments.

The partners noted that special emphasis will be paid to operating systems such as Android as well as Ubuntu, webOS and others.

“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 SoCs, every six months,” the partners said in a joint statement.

Linaro’s mission according to its Web site: “The focus of Linaro is to reduce the development time enabling exciting innovative products to come to the market quicker. Linaro provides device creators with greater choice whilst enabling end devices to have longer battery lives or slimmer cooler designs, due to the more efficient power consumption. Linaro has focuses on enabling reuse of software by a range of industry distributions; optimizing the use of new features and reducing the time to market.”

The chip venture is seen as a potential rival to Intel, the world’s top chip producer.

The first software and related tools are scheduled for release in November and will rely on ARM processors.

“Linaro’s work will help developers and manufacturers provide consumers with more choice, more responsive devices and more diverse applications on Linux-based systems,” the partners said.

Financial terms of the partnership weren’t disclosed.

According to Cnet, IBM and the other firms are investing “tens of millions of dollars,” a Linaro executive said.

Linaro will enable a variety of companies to overcome obstacles of interoperability across chips and different operating systems.

"The dramatic growth of open source software development can now be seen in internet-based, always-connected mobile and consumer products," said Tom Lantzsch, the executive officer at Linaro. "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."

The firm said it “intends to work in partnership with the Linux Foundation to align on core operating principles.”

"IBM believes that leadership with Linux solutions begins with effective collaboration in the community, and IBM’s ten year history of working with the Linux community has resulted in a strong, mutually beneficial relationship," said Daniel Frye, vice president, of open systems development at IBM.

"IBM’s ongoing collaboration has contributed to the widespread adoption of Linux throughout the data center,” he added. “We are strong proponents of working with partners such as ARM to further our commitment, ensuring Embedded Linux is the leading platform for innovation in the mobile and consumer electronics markets."

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