BEIJINGSeven local and overseas Linux developers announced plans to establish technical support centers to be overseen by the China Software Industry Association and backed by Intel Corp. The centers will focus on boosting Chinese software applications based on Linux through technical and product assistance to local software vendors.
The Linux OS providers taking part in the project include top Linux developers here including China Software and Technical Service Co. Ltd., RedFlag Software Technology Co., Ltd., TurboLinux Inc., Xteam (China) Software Co. Ltd., Beijing Linuxaid Network Technology Co., Ltd., Beijing Arcon Group and Shenzhen Sinx Software Co., Ltd.
Supporting "development of Chinese Linux software is one of CSIA's important tasks," said Tianxing Yang, the group's president. He said the centers' mission is to leverage Linux to drive electronic commerce along with hastening government and industry online projects.
Ministry of Information Industry officials said they have closely monitored Linux's progress in China. Besides sponsoring a series of Linux-related events in China, the ministry also has been very active in unifying international standards for Linux. Ministry officials said they want to drive the Linux industry though both internationalization and localization efforts.
Indeed, Linux has found broader applications in China's embedded systems (see April 24, page 42), PC, server and e-commerce sectors. Most of the seven Linux support providers said they have made progress in the Chinese retail market. For instance, Sinx Software said it made money only three months after its founding.
"Linux is a rare opportunity for the Chinese software industry [and] we must fully take advantage of its obvious security and economic benefits," said Yufang Sun, president of RedFlag. His company is planning to establish a foundation to boost development by independent software vendors and promote Linux-related education in universities.
RedFlag has also implemented some advanced applications using Linux, including a 64-server cluster for a local oil exploration company. The cluster's performance is higher than another $2 million system used by the oil company, officials said.
The planned Linux support centers were announced during the Intel Developer Forum here. Intel said it is planning to sponsor local Linux development and education. As a supporter of the centers, Intel said it would work closely with them on technical consulting, system integration and verification, training and certification. It will also provide engineer support for both existing and future IA-64 architectures.
Intel also used the forum to demonstrate its future Itanium processor for servers and workstations for the first time in China. The company also introduced its Willamette CPU with a new architecture running on 1-GHz and 400-MHz system buses. Also announced at the forum were a new 1-GHz Pentium III for the high-end market that will ship beginning this summer and a "Timna" CPU for the P6 architecture with an integrated CPU core, memory controller and graphics unit.