The Linaro Networking Group has just been formed to strengthen ARM Ltd.’s play in networking by creating low-level Linux code for software virtualization, real-time tasking, and packet processing that works across its architecture distributions.
In addition to ARM, of course, the initial members of the working group include AppliedMicro, Enea, Freescale, LSI Corp., Nokia Siements Networks, and Texas Instruments. Interestingly not a member initially is Cavium (mother company of mobile Linux-vendor MontaVista), although the former is a licensee of the ARM platform, as well as the MIPS architecture.
An interim steering committee has set four initial targets: 1) Virtualization on multicore chips working in mixed operating systems; 2) Real-time tasks, including Linux kernel updates for the control and data plane; 3) Packet processing enhancements to boost performance and lower latency, and 4) Support for mixed-endian environments and legacy code.
It is aiming to deliver first code pretty quickly, before June, followed by regular monthly releases.
“Embedded networking software has been very fragmented due to point-optimized hardware implementations,” said Jarmo Hillo, head of processor technology at Nokia Siemens Networks.
Linaro started in June 2010 as a collaboration on mobile Linux on ARM, which was expanding last year to include a new server-focused group, so this is a natural extension.