|Yet another mobile Linux alliance has been formed, this time with a focus on devices with larger displays.
The new organisation is spearheaded by the British processor manufacturer ARM, and its formation adds to a list of similar associations, including the LiPS Forum, the LiMo Foundation and the Mobile Linux Initiative (MLI). Members working with ARM include Marvell, MontaVista, Movial, Mozilla, Samsung and Texas Instruments.
There is a lot of crossover between the various groups. ARM is already a member of both LiPS and LiMo, MontaVista is a member of the MLI and LiPS, and Movial and Texas Instruments are both members of LiPS.
The push towards mobile Linux has in the past been criticised for being too fragmented, although many of the major players are adamant that the current arrangements will bear fruit in the near future.
ARM's organisation, which is as yet unnamed, is aiming to develop an open-source platform based on Linux, Gnome Mobile and Mozilla Firefox. It said the platform will enable mobile devices to run on ARM's partners' system-on-a-chip designs (SoCs).
"Today's consumers are very knowledgeable about technology, want to be connected to the Internet and access multimedia content and applications anywhere, at any time, yet they do not want to be restricted by short battery life and inadequate features that will limit their experiences," said Mike Inglis, ARM's executive vice president of sales and marketing.
"By stepping up the collaboration among key stakeholders in the mobile market, we will be able to jointly deliver the devices and applications with the cutting-edge innovation consumers have come to expect."
According to Jim McGregor, research director of enabling technologies at In-Stat, the market for ultramobile devices will be fuelled by new communications standards, content-rich data and new usage and business models.
"A critical component of success in this market will be building on industry standards that promote innovation in silicon, systems, and, most importantly, software solutions," he said. "Through open standards and growing industry support, Linux naturally promotes such innovation."
The platform resulting from the ARM collaboration is expected to appear in early 2008, with devices using the platform scheduled for release a year later. The platform will be "subject to open-source licensing terms", according to ARM.