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Via contracts open source leader as liaison

Jul 24, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Via Technologies announced that it has contracted open source leader and OpenMoko Lead System Architrect Harald Welte as the company's Open Source Liaison. Welte will be responsible for helping refine Via's open-source strategy and ensure close collaboration with the open-source development community, says the company.

(Click for larger view of Harald Welte )

Via Nano
(Click for details)

In addition to acting as a strategic consultant and community liaison, Welte will help the company optimize Linux drivers and documentation across the components of Via's x86 processor platforms, says Via, “in line with the standards and best practices of Linux kernel development.” Welte will also “enhance the quality and public availability of VIA documentation, and improve interaction with the Open Source development community,” says the company. He will work on projects including the Via C7 and Via Nano processors, “and accompanying chipsets, graphics, and networking chips.”

At the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit in April, Via announced that it would start opening up its chipsets to the open source community. The company started out by launching a Via Linux Portal where it has now posted drivers, technical documentation, source code, and other information for the Via CN700, CX700/M, and CN896 chipsets. The company plans to add forums, bug tracking, and support for more chipsets.

Born in 1979, Welte received the 2007 Award for the Advancement of Free Software from the Free Software Foundation (FSF). He has worked for a number of open source projects over the years and is known for his work as chief developer of the core netfilter/iptables system.

Neo FreeRunner
(Click for details)

In 2005 Welte founded the OpenEZX project, with the goal of creating an open Linux stack for Motorola phones. After meeting technical hurdles, it lost momentum when Welte shifted his focus to the OpenMoko project. There, he wrote the modem multiplexing code that enables OpenMoko-based devices to simultaneously browse the web and take/make calls. Welte continues on as Lead System Architect at the OpenMoko project, which has developed the software that resulted in OpenMoko's Neo 1973, and more recently, the Neo FreeRunner.

Welte is also known as the founder of, a German group that has prevailed in lawsuits over violations of the GNU GPL (GNU General Public License), including a successful suit against Skype. The group's work has helped inspire a similar (and similarly successful) U.S. group called the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC).

Stated Richard Brown, Via's VP of Corporate Marketing, “With his rich experience in Open Source software development and outstanding reputation in the global community, Harald will play an invaluable role in enabling us to implement our Strategic Open Source Driver Development Initiative.”

Stated Welte, “This is an exciting time to be working with VIA as the company steps up its Open Source efforts. I look forward to working with the company's management and R&D teams to make sure that they not only better understand the needs of developers but that they also build a productive and high quality relationship with the community.”

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