AUSTIN, Texas In an effort aimed at promoting the use of the PowerPC architecture running the Linux operating system in the People's Republic of China, Freescale Semiconductor Inc. has aligned with China's government-run Software and Integrated Circuit Promotion Center to set up a jointly run evaluation lab in Beijing.
The lab will create evaluation boards based on Linux and Freescale's PowerPC silicon, creating benchmarks for use by China's technical community, and furthering relationships with China's growing Linux software sector, said Glenn Beck, director of marketing at Freescale's computing platform division here.
China's government has floated standards efforts in 3G wireless, wireless LANs, video compression, and other standards-driven areas. Bill Dunnigan, vice president of Freescale's computing platform division, signed an agreement Monday (Feb. 28) to establish the lab with Zhang Qi, director general of the electronics information products department of the Ministry of Information (MII), as well as Qiu Shan Qin, chief of the China Software and Integrated Circuit Promotion Center (CSIP).
In a statement, Qi of the MII said "through CSIP, we have established an embedded software lab and have provided services for companies such as Dragon Chip and Lenovo. Today, we are pleased to establish a joint lab for Linux systems with Freescale in support of Linux development in China, especially the commercialization of embedded Linux."
China's government is expected to extend efforts to establish unique Chinese-specific standards to the embedded, networking, and high-performance computing markets. For example, standards for blade servers and networking system chassis remain up in the air in China, and Freescale would bring its input to various standards efforts through the evaluation lab, Beck said.
Shane Rau, an analyst at market research firm IDC, said: "China is looking to establish its own eco-system. This center is a way for Freescale to interact with Chinese people at multiple levels, including the academics who influence the engineers coming out of Chinese universities."
Freescale plans to relocate a Chinese-speaking engineer, Nikolay Guenov, from Austin to Beijing in March to support the lab, to be called MII-Freescale Linux Systems Lab.
Guenov said after service in the Bulgarian army, he was sent to China for three years of study in the late 1980s. He met his wife, a native of the state of Maine, in China, and finished his engineering education in the United States before joining Freescale.
"The language, technology, and cost requirements of the Chinese market are unique and different. This lab will help us define products that meet the needs of the Chinese market, including system-on-chip designs based on the PowerPC cores," said Guenov.
Freescale and the Chinese center also will sponsor a PowerPC Linux developer's forum in Beijing in April, bringing together Chinese OEMs, about 100 Chinese software companies, universities, and government officials.