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Collaboration aims to better Linux on ARM chips

ARM rounds up some allies to give Linux a leg up for mobile devices using its processor designs.

Things are getting spicier in the effort to court Linux allies for networked mobile devices.

ARM on Wednesday announced a collaboration with six companies that's intended to improve Linux for the processor cores that ARM licenses to numerous other companies. It's a nice counterpoint to Intel's work to try to make a go with Linux for the x86-based mini-PCs it calls mobile internet devices (MIDs).

The companies--Marvell, MontaVista, Movial, Mozilla, Samsung, and Texas Instruments--"are all working to accelerate the enablement of truly always on, connected mobile computing (CMC) devices," ARM said in a statement from the ARM Developers' Conference. It's not clear exactly how a CMC differs from a MID, but it's a safe bet that few people will want to carry one of each around as they roam from hotspot to hotspot.

The ARM allies will work on building a "standard" version of Linux and higher-level software including Mozilla's Firefox Web browser and the GNOME Mobile user interface. In contrast, Intel's most notable partner is Canonical, the backer of the Ubuntu version of Linux.

The ARM allies specifically will address some bugaboos of mobile device software, including battery life and software integration, ARM said.