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TI joins Linux industry group

Mar 4, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Texas Instruments (TI) will join the Linux Foundation in order to “collaborate with industry leaders who define both technical and operational best practices around open source software,” it announced. TI's open source strategic marketing manager, Eric Thomas, will join the Foundation's board alongside new members Larry Augustin and Chris Schlaeger.

The announcement signals the growing importance that Linux plays in TI's product plans, says the Foundation. Fresh from it's annual TI Developer Conference in Dallas, TI appears to be digging into several specific markets where Linux is gaining traction, such as automotive and industrial automation. TI has also historically been strong in mobile phone chips, where Linux appears poised for widespread adoption.

About 8.1 million devices shipped with a commercial Linux OS in 2007, according to ABI figures cited by the Linux Foundation. By 2012, 127 million will ship annually, ABI's Mobile Linux study reportedly concluded.

The Linux Foundation was created about a year ago by the merger of the OSDL and the FSG, two influential industry groups. Working with the LF's workgroups and participating in its member-only summits, TI will help to provide the necessary tools for embedded developers, the LF said.

TI is joining as a Silver member, alongside some two dozen other members, and below the Gold level where companies like AMD, Cisco, and Motorola contribute. The highest Platinum level is comprised of Fujitsu, HP, Hitachi, Intel, IBM, Novell, Oracle, and NEC.

In addition to TI's Eric Thomas, other new LF board members elected include Linux and open source expert Larry Augustin, founder of high-flying Linux startup VA Research, and AMD's Chris Schlaeger. Meanwhile, Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu, was re-elected as an individual member, and James Bottomley was re-elected as the Technical Advisory Board's (TAB) representative to the board. Eleven other board members will retain their positions.

Stated Jim Zemlin, LF's executive director, “Texas Instruments has an important perspective on mobile and embedded Linux, and we're very excited to welcome them to the Foundation. Linux is experiencing huge growth in the embedded and mobile markets — it's no surprise that a mobile leader like TI would want to foster collaboration with the community by supporting the Foundation's efforts.”

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