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.
Linaro expects initial software deliveries from the Linaro Networking Group during the first half of 2013 with on-going monthly releases thereafter.
“The strength of the ARM community is in working together and innovating. 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,” said George Grey, chief executive of Linaro.
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.
An interim steering committee for LNG has been meeting since the end of 2012 and has agreed on four initial areas of work:
- Virtualization support with considerations for real-time performance, I/O optimization, robustness and heterogeneous operating environments on multi-core SoCs.
- Real-time operations and the Linux kernel optimizations for the control and data plane.
- Packet processing optimizations that maximize performance and minimize latency in data flows through the network.
- Dealing with legacy software and mixed-endian issues prevalent in the networking space.