ARM SoC's Hodgepodge or Great Innovation & Diversity?

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2011-Sep-15 | Tags: SoCandroidbusinesstablet

Linux on ARMLast week it was reported that Linus Torvalds described the ARM SoC (System on Chip) ecosystem as a "Hodgepodge, " with the article then going on to imply that the diversity and innovation in how an ARM SoC is implemented makes it very difficult to implement Linux on ARM. I have a slightly different take on it.

Proof is in Production - Quite simply Linux is a hit on ARM, there are almost 600,000 ARM powered Linux devices shipped every day in the form of Android tablets and phones using many different SoC's from ARM's Partners, and using different ARM cores from ARM7 to dual core Cortex-A9. How many Linux devices are bought by consumers that are not ARM powered? Not very many is the simple answer. Surely this alone is enough to prove that the ARM architecture is the leading platform for Linux.

One Size Does Not Fit All - The ARM ecosystem is all about diversity and innovation. Unlike the PC world where there are just two suppliers, in the ARM world there are multiple suppliers developing SoC's for different markets and market niches. Though they all use the ARM architecture, ARM does not dictate how the SoC is designed. This means that it does take a bit more effort to port Linux to a new SoC, but the upside is that this diversity drives innovation...


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Linux on ARM