Linaro, the not-for-profit engineering organization who develops open source software for the ARM architecture, has announced the formation of the Linaro Enterprise Group (LEG) to accelerate Linux development for ARM servers as well as the addition of AMD, Applied Micro Circuits Corp., Calxeda, Canonical, Cavium, Facebook, HP, Marvell and Red Hat as Linaro members.
“The significance of key industry players coming together like this to develop new aspects of the ecosystem is showing 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,” said Warren East, chief executive of ARM, at TechCon industry conference.
With significant market interest in energy-efficient ARM-based servers, industry leaders have joined together through Linaro, creating LEG, to collaborate and accelerate the development of foundational software for ARM Server Linux. LEG benefits have broad industry implications, including time to market acceleration, lower development costs, and access to innovative and differentiated systems, fundamental to the ARM ecosystem.
The new LEG members have joined existing Linaro members ARM, Samsung and ST-Ericsson to create a shared software engineering team and steering committee. The team will build on Linaro’s experience of bringing competing companies together to work on common solutions and enable OEMs, commercial Linux providers and system-on-chip (SoC) vendors to collaborate in a neutral environment on the development and optimization of the core software needed by the rapidly emerging market for low-power hyperscale servers.
“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, it is the partnership approach which is vital to encourage innovation in this space and we are delighted to see LEG shares this vision. By changing the way we process data, the opportunity for a smarter, more connected future can be truly realized,” added Mr. East.
Linaro uses 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 the third-largest company contributor to the Linux 3.5 kernel. Linaro’s contribution to improving ARM’s support in the open source Linux community has recently been recognized by Linus Torvalds.
“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. 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,” said George Grey, chief executive officer of Linaro.
ARM servers are expected to be initially adopted in hyperscale computing environments, especially in large web farms and clusters, where flexible scaling, energy efficiency and an optimal footprint are key design requirements. The Linaro Enterprise Group 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. Linaro expects initial software delivery before the end of 2012 with ongoing releases thereafter.