Open source ARM tools get boost from suppliers

Linaro, the multi-supplier group optimising Linux tools for ARM platforms, has received a boost at ARM Techcon in Santa Clara this week.

Samsung, ST-Ericsson and Texas Instruments all showed multiple open source distributions running on multiple SoCs using code or tools that have been modified by Linaro.

“The demonstrations show the latest ARM based SoCs running multiple distributions and built with software or tools that have benefited from Linaro’s aligned engineering,” said George Grey, CEO of Linaro.

Linaro’s 70 developers have been working on improving development tools and consolidating Linux kernel SoC support for the latest ARM Cortex-A9 and Cortex-A8 based chips.

One of the aims of the not-for-profit open source software engineering company, it seems, is to make it easier for open-source software and operating systems to be run on a wider range of processor architectures.

It also intends to work in partnership with the Linux Foundation to align on core operating principles.

The first tool release provides performance optimisations for SoCs based on the ARM Cortex-A processor family.

“By providing the open source tools and software and helping to enable them on the most advanced Cortex-A9 chips, we are helping to unify and accelerate open source development,” said Grey.

This is a fully open source activity and so platform engineering has been done in the open and is available for inspection on the developer wiki.

According to Jim Zemlin, executive director of Linux Foundation: “The collaborative engineering work Linaro is doing in the Linux kernel will help accelerate innovation in open source.”

Leading companies behind the group include TI, Freescale, Samsung, ST-Ericsson and IBM as well as ARM.

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