Archive for the ‘Android’ Category
I’m not sure why, but this release comes with more pride and relief than others before it. Linaro has done some tremendous things in its short inception but what is there now, coupled with what is planned for the future is truly awe-inspiring. Anyway, the announcement.
Linaro is pleased to announce that the 11.05 Beta Ubuntu images are now
available to download.
After much blood, sweat and tears we now have a total of 10 different
boards supported (in our own unique hardware pack and board-neutral
rootfs architecture) along with a more focused 4 different images to try
out including the much coveted Ubuntu Unity interface on the Ubuntu Desktop
image. This is in addition to the small nano image, the tools rich
Developer image and the ARM Internet Platform (ALIP) image. A 2.6.38 kernel,
state-of-the-art Linaro toolchain and a whole host of ARM-related
improvements make for a thrilling release. What are you waiting for, go
download it now!
As always, if you have supported hardware, as found on:
please help our initiative by testing the official Linaro Evaluation
and our Developer images:
As a side note, hwpacks that have an -lt- in their name are outputs from
the Linaro Landing teams, using some of their components.
Make your way to:
for an explanation on how to test and submit your results to the QA
ARM? Who are they?
ARM are a humongous company, not so much in employee numbers and site buildings, but in the number of actual products that their technology comes to market with. From a seemingly small number of incredibly smart people comes a sales figure of nearly 3 ARM chips for every man, woman and child on the planet, a huge feat that, with recent partnership announcements, and rumors galore, is only going to get bigger.
ARM shares have gone from a level of just over 135 this time last year to well over 400 today and with ARM’s Q3 2010 Earnings release due Oct 26th, I’m sure we will see continued growth. But why all the fuss?
ARM has been around for a long time. Smartphones, set-top boxes, even a robot or two so what is going so right for ARM lately? Well their deal with Apple for the strangely named A4 (cleverly stripped Cortex-A8, ARMv7-A core) which went into the iPad, iPhone, iPod, Apple TV, and is now the corner-stone of Apples iOS solutions has helped, a deal with Microsoft, dozens of ARM based Android phones, and the odd Maemo/MeeGo phone helps. But now we have a new era. A time where ARM are moving out of their comfort zone and competing with the likes of Intel and AMD on performance, but this time doing it with an eye to power consumption. There are a lot of exciting things going on at ARM, not to mention their huge focus on Linux with Linaro, but their recent announcement of the ARM A15 architecture got me excited more than others.
Low Powered, Multi-Core, High Performance
The A15 is billed as having:
Unprecedented levels of performance, power-efficiency, and technology leadership
and reading the technical specs one can only wonder what is in store for this architecture. Some of the highlights include:
- Up to 2.5Gz clock speed
- Chip fabrication down to 28nm
- Address up to 1TB of memory
- Hardware Virtualisation
- Single to Quad core (and beyond) configurations
- Suitable for everything from phones to servers
So looking at the specifications, where is this chip likely to land? Well, its not quite that easy to guess as the processor itself is so versatile. If one were to attempt a guess one could hypothesise that we will see at least phones and netbooks but more importantly tablets, laptops, and servers. The last three, maybe four are new to ARM. But a chip so capable has its uses.
- For netbooks and laptops, a more powerful CPU is essential. Couple this with low power consumption and an increasingly powerful user experience from Ubuntu, Linaro and other Linux distributions equates to a great portable laptop device.
- Tablets are the new buzz word. Android is the main contender to Apple at the moment although RIM have just announced their PlayBook and HP cannot be discounted with their acquisition of PALM and WebOS. If its not an Apple device then its most likely to be Linux based (unless its the QNX RIM tablet) and what better way to utilise that than to use a flavour that is highly optimised for ARM based Linux devices.
- Servers are uncharted territory for ARM. Quietly, bubbling up amongst the tech crowd is the notion that vast arrays of hot, expensive to run, power-hungry x86 based servers could be replaced by cold, cheap, powerful ARM servers. For a company who pays millions (upon millions) of dollars for a server farm, saving money on both climate control to cool servers and their electricity bill is huge news. Couple that with the fact that ARM servers could be cheaper to purchase and you get a lot of buzz in this area. One such company that caught this curve early was SmoothStone. Expect to see a huge uptake in the interest of ARM based servers in the coming 12 months.
ARM based devices are ubiquitous, just like Linux. You may of not of even heard of ARM, just like you may not of heard of Linux, but making a phone call or searching on Google means you could already using their respective technologies.
ARM, just like Linux, is a quiet pioneer, prevalent in the background just waiting for the opportunity to become mainstream. Whether mainstream is the goal, prevalence most definitely is on the agenda.
Wow, we are at Beta already. There are still some tweaks and bug fixes planned before final, maybe a surprise or two, stay tuned.
Another month, another release. Today sees the launch of the Linaro
Beta image which will in-turn become the final release in November.
The team have been working super-hard to ensure bugs are at a
minimum whist bring in new exciting functionality.
Highlights of this release include:
* Support for the ARM Versatile Express platform which supplements
the existing OMAP image.
* Support is now available for OMAP Beagle Board C3/C4, OMAP
Beagle Board XM, ARM Versatile Express, and with some
modifications OMAP Panda Board, IGEPv2, Freescale iMX51.
* Three new experimental seeds are available which enable the
headless image to be supplemented by a particular install
o linaro-netbook-efl – Netbook user interface using the EFL based
o linaro-alip – A reduced size installation, see
http://linux.onarm.com/index.php/Main_Page for more details on
o linaro-handset-plasma – A KDE/Plasma based user interface.
* 35 upgraded packages since alpha-3.
* Includes the 2.6.35 final kernel.
* Tested using the new QA Tracking infrastructure located at
More information on this development release as well as download and
installation instructions can be found at:
More information on Linaro in general and the 10.11 plans can be found
Also subscribe to the important Linaro mailing lists and join our IRC
channels to stay on top of Linaro developments:
* Announcements: http://lists.linaro.org/mailman/listinfo/linaro-announce
* Development: http://lists.linaro.org/mailman/listinfo/linaro-dev
* IRC: #linaro on irc.freenode.net
For any errata issues please see:
Bug reports for this release should be filed in Launchpad against the
individual packages that are affected, if a suitable package cannot be
identified, feel free to assign them to:
Linaro Release Manager
This month I had the pleasure of attending LinuxCon in Boston. The event was a great success and I managed to get some face-to-face time with old and new friends alike, including the new Ubuntu Release Manager, Kate Stewart and the new Ubuntu Technical Architect, Allison Randal among others. I attended many, many sessions and even managed to catch up with one or two people to talk business but the sessions that stood out for me were:
A Technical Look at Linux at Oracle – Wim Coekaerts
Wim is a great speaker and the topic was new to me so I listened intently. Unfortunately Oracle followed up by promptly suing Google.
Mobile Linux: Adapting Practices, Driving Innovation, Collaboration, and Scalability – Rob Chandhok
Rob outlined Qualcomms Open Source effort. They do a lot of good work with Linux and their latest announcement, that they would be making an effort to consolidate work done in the ARM eco-sphere, echo’s what Linaro is tasked at achieving. I’m sure there will be a lot of overlap and collaboration going forward.
Android/Linux Kernel: Lessons Learned – Matthew Garrett
Matthew spent his time describing the failed attempt to get Android’s power management solution, suspend blockers, into the mainline kernel. It was a heated discussion at times but did highlight some failings on both Google’s and the kernel communities sides.
Linux Kernel Panel – James Bottomley, Jon Corbet, Dave Jones, Chris Mason, Ted Ts’o
Kernel panels, or round-tables, seem to be a common practice at many conferences and this was no exception. A good bunch of speakers, lots of questions from the audience including one or two on the status of the ARM kernel.
Open Source Software Adoption Patterns in Enterprise IT – Jeffrey Hammond
Jeffrey fired of statistics and facts about the studies his company have been doing with regards to Linux adoption. The facts proved interesting with a trend for an accelerated Linux adoption from the pool of people he surveyed.
MeeGo: Where Are We Now – Dawn Foster
Dawn gave a high-level introduction to MeeGo, the project bearing the fruits of the collaboration between Nokia and Intel. Nothing new was discussed but the level of interest in MeeGo was evident by the full room.
Doing What it Takes: Current Legal Issues in Defending FOSS – Eben Moglen
Listening to Eben speak is a pleasure in itself, let alone listening to him talk about a subject close to the heart of many open source developers. For someone to stand there for 30 mins, without slides or prompts, never fumble a word and capture the attention of everyone in the room, Eben must be commended.
Selling the Value of Open Source When Cost is Not the Driver – Ravi Simhambhatla
Virgin America wouldn’t be my obvious choice when selecting a company that really utilizes and ‘gets’ open source but Ravi’s explanation of how they use it, where they were before open source, and what they have planned for the future was captivating. Virgin America really are revolutionizing their internal IT departments by using Linux and they have even bigger plans for the future.
Overall a good event, looking forward to the next one.
So its that time of year again, we released a great product and instead of being content, we want to make an even greater one next time. It’s scary to think that I leave for the Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS) next week but as a Canonical employee we are all charged with coming up with great idea’s on how to make our particular field of interest even more awesome than it is now.
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