July 16, 2007 11:57 AM PDT
Intel aims to speed Linux gadget development
- Related Stories
Canonical refines mobile Ubuntu LinuxJune 6, 2007
The best idea Jeff Hawkins ever hadJune 1, 2007
Is Foleo Palm's folly?May 30, 2007
Mobile minitablets still grounded despite new techApril 30, 2007
Ultramobile PCs to get boost from IntelApril 17, 2007
Next Nokia minitablet to get Webcam, WiMax?June 22, 2006
Nokia's Linux-based Net device on saleNovember 7, 2005
Gateway, AOL take wraps off Web applianceNovember 10, 2000
The chipmaker on Monday is launching its Mobile and Internet Linux Project Web site, which consolidates a number of new and existing Intel projects to improve the Linux kernel and other open-source components. In addition, the company employs "quite a bit more than a dozen" programmers for coding work, said Dirk Hohndel, Intel's chief Linux and open-source technologist.
Among the projects are efforts to improve power management, user interfaces, use of wireless networks, Web browsing, chatting, and one of the thorniest subjects, software development for mobile devices. Intel hopes for programming help from outside its own company, and two Linux companies that have signed up are Ubuntu backer Canonical and Red Flag Linux in China.
"We see this as the technology incubator for a lot of things that are going to be productized in three years," Hohndel said. He wouldn't comment on the project's magnitude, but he said, "My internal funding shows that top management is taking this seriously."
It's probably good that Intel is giving itself a few years. Numerous companies have tried to build Linux-based Net gadgets for years, but few have amounted to much. Among the efforts are the Nokia 770 and newer N800, an AOL-Gateway Web appliance, and the Palm Foleo, which so far has had a frosty reception.
Intel is serious about trying to spur the industry so it can sell more chips, though, and devices such as the BlackBerry, Treo and iPhone have certainly proved that there's a market for surfing the Web on a portable device. Intel's current effort to sell hardware for the market includes its Mobile Internet Device project.
One major focus of the Mobile and Internet Linux Project will be improving programming tools. Developers often write and debug software on a regular PC before transferring it to a device or prototype for further testing.
"One of the hardest problems is to get software stacks onto these devices," Hohndel said. "We think this is a major step forward to make it easier to develop."
Intel will be hosting source code and tools such as mailing lists, but it won't actually produce a Linux "distribution"--a unified collection of software.
3 commentsJoin the conversation! Add your comment