ARM Joins Consumer Electronics Linux Forum

ARM, one of the largest developers of RISC embedded processors and subsystems, has announced its membership in the Consumer Electronics Linux Forum.

Established in June, CELF is an industry group focused on advancing Linux as an open-source platform for consumer electronics devices such as handheld computers and other audiovisual devices. CELF members collaborate on, clarify and codify issues, designs and specifications required by Linux that need to be addressed by the open-source community.

ARM joins other high-profile members, including Motorola, NEC, Samsung, ST and Texas Instruments, plus founding members Matsushita and Sony. Membership in the CELF coincides with work ARM already has undertaken to develop and use embedded Linux on its microprocessors.

Linux Gaining Momentum

“While Linux has been gaining momentum as a desktop operating system, changes from both a technical and architectural standpoint are needed to help the platform reach its full potential in a consumer electronics environment,” said Mary Inglis, director of operating systems and alliances at ARM.

“ARM is joining a valuable resource in the CELF,” said Inglis. “It is part of our long-term support for the Linux platform, and to help bring Linux into products people use every day.”

ARM will participate in the Forum’s various working groups, addressing and collaborating on embedded technology changes required to adapt to Linux — such as kernel design, size constraints, performance rates and power-management issues within microprocessor cores.

“Linux’s open-source nature, which frees developers and users from the constraints of proprietary middleware, also has many challenges,” said Inglis. “ARM is committed to working with CELF members on enhancing architectures as well as maintaining industry quality controls, security and standards.”

ARM Pushes Memory Stick

ARM also announced a new member of the company’s PrimeCell peripheral product family, the PL200 Memory Stick host controller. With technical support from Sony to ensure compatibility with Sony’s Memory Stick format — including Memory Stick Pro — ARM developed the PL200 controller to help promote the Memory Stick format in products such as PDAs, cameras, mobile phones and electronic automotive systems.

“ARM’s introduction of new Memory Stick solutions based on its technology will facilitate the development of Memory Stick products by other manufacturers, which will help to realize the further expansion of the Memory Stick connected world,” said Masaharu Yanaga, senior general manager in the Memory Stick division at Sony. “The new PrimeCell PL200 product is highly efficient and is a recommended solution for manufacturers who develop Memory Stick products.”

“The two companies have been in a collaborative relationship,” said Takio Ishikawa, president of ARM KK. “The strength of our relationship has enabled a new level of collaboration, which has resulted in the ARM PrimeCell PL200 host controller becoming the preferred solution for the Memory Stick format.”

The ARM PrimeCell PL200 Memory Stick Host Controller is available to licensees of the Memory Stick protocol.

ASIC Development

In other news this week, ARM has partnered with Averant to release a verification tool for testing subsystems designed to comply with the Advanced High-performance Bus (AHB) protocol.

A key verification task for today’s system-on-chip designers is to ensure that each component in the system obeys the interconnecting bus protocols. Failure to achieve compliance with the protocols can result in poor product quality. To make it easier for developers to test compliance, the two companies have worked together to develop the SolidAHB tool to verify designs.

“We partnered with ARM in the important area of AMBA protocol verification because we believe ARM’s creation and endorsement of the property sets, coupled with the ease of use, execution speed and exhaustive nature of the SolidAHB tool, will make this a compelling product in the marketplace,” said Ramin Hojati, president of Averant.

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