Linux on ARM
After countless years of development, the 2.0 release of GeeXboX (codename "Love It or Shove It") finally has landed. The GeeXboX project was created in December 2002, 9 years ago, to become the major HTPC / MediaCenter dedicated Linux distribution.
Kontron announced it will release its first computer on modules (COMs) based on single- and multicore ARM processors later this year. Featuring support for operating systems including Linux and Windows 8, the COMs will be followed up in 2012 by ARM-based single board computers, plus tablet, box, and HMI (human machine interface) PCs, says the company.
Non-profit entity focused on accelerating development of Linux on ARM - More than 150 Linux engineers gathered in Cambridge, England late last month to collaborate on the development of Linux on ARM at the first quarterly Linaro Connect event.
It seems that Samsung is quite interested in pushing upstream Linux kernel support for their ARM-based Exynos 4210 SoC. Besides pushing an open-source DRM kernel graphics driver, they have been working on other areas of upstream Linux kernel support for this SoC that employs a dual-core Cortex A9.
While Hewlett-Packard recently announced they will be killing off their webOS devices, just days prior to that I had ordered an HP TouchPad 16GB to carry out some additional ARM-based Linux benchmarks. Although HP's devices may be going away, I am still fond of webOS and it's a fair environment to carry out performance tests.
The RaspberryPi Foundation, which aims to put computers in front of children for £15, has taken delivery of 50 engineering prototypes, and intends to get the final version to customers by the end of the year. Based in Cambridge and founded by six high-tech high-flyers, the foundation’s aim is to cure the programmer shortage by inspiring people to take up computing in childhood - as Sinclair Spectrums and BBC Micros once did.
Linaro has released a new version of its Linaro open source Linux tools, kernel, and middleware stack for ARM Cortex-based consumer electronics. Based on the Linux 3.0.3 kernel and GCC 4.6 toolchain, Linaro 11.08 offers Android and Ubuntu images for the BeagleBoard-xM, Pandaboard, Snowball, and Samsung Origen development boards, plus a new build for the Freescale i.MX53 board.
Last May a UK-based company called Raspberry Pi announced plans to release a tiny PC the size of a USB key that costs just $25. The PC runs on a Linux based operating system. It will have a 700 MHz ARM11-based processor, 128 MB of SDRAM, USB 2.0 and HDMI ports and more. While we are still waiting for the company to release the PC, it has still been working to refine the device.
Samsung has published the code to a new open-source DRM driver for its EXYNOS4210 System-On-a-Chip. The EXYNOS4210 has impressive 3D graphics capabilities, uses the dual-core ARM Cortex A9 processor, and is used in various smart-phones. The Samsung Galaxy S II is one of the smart-phones using the Exynos 4210 SoC. Samsung is hoping to push this DRM driver into the mainline Linux kernel.
Linux on ARM dominates embedded and mobile markets. Consumer devices such as smartphones, portable tablets, and set top boxes are increasingly being used and accessed by Linux applications. Unfortunately, this makes them an attractive target for hackers who seek to tamper and reverse-engineer the application for nefarious goals such as intellectual property (IP) theft, DRM compromise and piracy.
Last week it was reported that Linus Torvalds described the ARM SoC (System on Chip) ecosystem as a "Hodgepodge, " with the article then going on to imply that the diversity and innovation in how an ARM SoC is implemented makes it very difficult to implement Linux on ARM. I have a slightly different take on it.
CAMBRIDGE, UK- August 23rd, 2011- More than 150 Linux engineers gathered in Cambridge this month to collaborate on the development of Linux on ARM at the first quarterly LinaroTM Connect event. Linaro, the not-for-profit open source software engineering company founded by ARM, IBM, TI, Samsung, Freescale and ST-Ericsson is working on consolidation and optimization of Linux on ARM SoCs.
In today's data center, millions of instructions per second (MIPS) and gigabyte per second (GBPS) throughput are well and good, but being green (having a low power consumption) is becoming just as important. That's why Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu Linux, is betting that in the long run, ARM processors will play an important role in tomorrow's servers and datacenters.
The ARM chip architecture is emerging to become an extremely popular one for embedded and mobile devices. It's also an architecture that has had some issues when it comes to Linux. Speaking at the LinuxCon conference this week, Linux creator Linus Torvalds detailed his frustrations with ARM. Coincidentally this week, Canonical, the lead commercial sponsor behind Ubuntu Linux, announced ARM support as part of the upcoming Ubuntu 11.10 release.
Wind River announced a new version of Wind River Platform for Infotainment, its Genivi-compliant automotive stack designed for building Linux-based in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems. The new version adds support for ARM processors, as well as Apple iPhone and iPod integration, Wind River Hypervisor support for multi-OS virtualization, and a new application and GUI framework, says the company.