SAN JOSE, Calif. – The ARM architecture is getting a helping hand making its way into networking gear from the newly formed Linaro Networking Group. ARM, Texas Instruments, Freescale, AppliedMicro, Enea, MontaVista, LSI and Nokia Siemens Networks are among the initial members of the effort writing low-level open source code for Linux on ARM.
The effort comes at a time when networking SoC makers Cavium (parent company of MontaVista), Freescale and LSI are all migrating to more ARM-based products. The move represents part of an increasing consolidation among OEMs on ARM and the x86.
An interim steering committee set four initial targets for the group in meetings that started in late 2012:
Virtualization on multicore chips working in mixed operating systems
Real-time tasks, including Linux kernel updates for the control and data plane
Packet processing enhancements to boost performance and lower latency
Support for mixed-endian environments and legacy code
The group expects to deliver its first code 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 in a press statement. “Nokia Siemens Networks is committed to collaborating in the creation of the Linux ecosystem for ARM that enables easier adoption of new technology while leaving room for innovative SoC designs,” he said.
Linaro got its start in June 2010 as a collaboration on mobile Linux on ARM and expanded last year with a new server-focused group.