MANHASSET, N.Y. STMicroelectronics has signed an agreement with the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) and CEA, the French Atomic Energy Commission to become a partner in the Chinese Open Platform Initiative, which is developing a new computing platform based on Linux open-source software.
Under the terms of the agreement, ST will work closely with Chinese, French, and other partners to develop low-cost, high-performance hardware/software platforms that pave the way for a complete chain of compatible open-source systems, from servers to mobile terminals and consumer appliances.
China has advocated open-source platforms for many years and has already adopted Linux as a standard. ST has developed consumer and mobile platforms running Linux, including the Nomadik mobile platform.
The agreement between MOST and ST-CEA-Bull follows an earlier MOU between the French and Chinese Governments to build a wide-ranging technical cooperation that addresses both the immediate local requirements of the Chinese market and the global movement towards low-cost, high-performance open-source platforms. Within this framework, ST will work closely with CEA and Bull, as well as with existing and future Chinese partners.
"What we bring to this program is a complete portfolio of technologies and applications," said Philippe Geyres, corporate vice president and general manager of the Consumer and Microcontrollers Group at STMicroelectronics, in a statement. "ST has all of the design and manufacturing resources required for China's immediate needs and the worldwide presence that can support this important initiative that will help to bridge the Digital Divide by making PCs more affordable throughout the world."
ST's move strengthens the company's presence in China, where it is the second largest supplier of semiconductors to the Chinese market, according to Gartner Dataquest.
Besides manufacturing, ST has established R&D and product-development alliances with Chinese universities, research institutes, and manufacturing enterprises for next-generation communications and consumer products.