One of the news bullets from the recently held ARM TechCon exhibition and conference was that the non-profit Linaro organization is bringing together 13 companies to develop open-source, low-level software for ARM-based servers.
However, Linaro's ambitions extend beyond software for mobile devices, where it started in June 2010, and the just-announced Linaro Enterprise Group (LEG), set up to address servers. Indeed Linaro's ambitions extend beyond Linux.
George Grey, chief executive of Linaro, said that networking equipment is an adjacent space to enterprise servers for cloud computing and datacenters. This is an area where ARM has not played too strongly to date but an area in which ARM architectural licensees Applied Micro Circuits Corp. and Cavium Networks Inc. do operate. Both AMCC and Cavium are part of LEG.
ARM TechCon, organized by EE Times' publisher UBM Electronics, painted a picture of ARM architectures running from the Data Center through the mobile client to the billions of devices in the Internet of Things (IoT). Following the logic of this I asked Grey if Linaro will also have role to play in IoT.
Grey answered "Yes!"
He continued: "There are a number of machine-to-machine applications where it is necessary to deliver optimized software; micro Linux to run the device. At the same time the character of the cloud needed to support IoT is changing. It impacts both [server and client] ends."
Grey did not provide a timetable for when IoT work would begin indicating that for now Linaro has follow through on its promise to support the server market but with the caveat that increasingly cloud-based service providers are interested in end-to-end solutions.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.