SoftBank joins Linaro 96Boards Steering Committee



Linaro Ltd, the open source collaborative engineering organization developing software for the Arm® ecosystem, announced today that Japanese telecommunications giant SoftBank Corp. has joined the 96Boards initiative as a Steering Committee member. SoftBank and Linaro began cooperating in Japan in September 2017 to enable the interconnection between SoftBank IoT Platform and the Consumer Edition (CE) and Internet of Things Edition (IE) 96Boards products. The 96Boards Steering Committee provides a neutral forum in which SoftBank can cooperate closely with other 96Boards partners and promote its online services and 96Boards related products to developers.

96Boards is Linaro’s initiative to build a single worldwide software and hardware community across low-cost development boards based on Arm technology. A large range of products compliant with the 96Boards specifications are already available worldwide and this range is supplemented with additional hardware functionality provided through standardized mezzanine boards. With open source software and support for cloud services already available, SoftBank’s increased involvement in 96Boards will extend the range of services available to developers using 96Boards products and boost the presence of 96Boards products in Japan.

“96Boards have been widely adopted by developers around the world” said Hironobu Tamba, Vice President, Smart IoT Division, “by joining the 96Boards Steering Committee, we expect to improve interconnection between SoftBank IoT platform and 96Boards, so that developers can easily verify their IoT system design by using 96Boards, and confirmed and analyzed their data by SoftBank IoT platform. By promoting collaboration with Linaro in the future, SoftBank will solve various problems in the IoT era, such as standardization of specifications in global standards, and will offer a selectable and optimal IoT platform.”

The 96Boards steering committee now includes more than twenty companies who are working together on Consumer, Enterprise, TV Platform, Networking, IoT and SOM specifications. To date, the Consumer, Enterprise and TV Platform and IoT specifications have been released with boards available for each. In addition there are a large number of mezzanine products and other accessories available for a range of applications from industrial control and robotics, through AI, HPC and IoT, on to data centers and edge applications.

“We are excited to welcome SoftBank to the 96Boards Steering Committee and look forward to  the benefits they will bring to the 96Boards range of specifications and products built around the specifications” said Yang Zhang, Director of 96Boards. “SoftBank is uniquely positioned to help connect the vast range of vendors from across the ecosystem and foster accelerated collaboration on standardized platforms for the future.”

About SoftBank

SoftBank Corp., a subsidiary of SoftBank Group Corp. (TOKYO:9984), provides mobile communication, fixed-line communication and Internet connection services to customers in Japan. Leveraging synergies with other companies in the SoftBank Group, SoftBank Corp. aims to transform lifestyles through ICT and expand into other business areas including IoT, robotics and energy. To learn more, please visit www.softbank.jp/en/corp/group/sbm/.

About Linaro

Linaro is leading collaboration on open source development in the Arm ecosystem. The company has over 300 engineers working on consolidating and optimizing open source software for the Arm architecture, including developer tools, the Linux kernel, Arm power management, and other software infrastructure. Linaro is distribution neutral: it wants to provide the best software foundations to everyone by working upstream, and to reduce non-differentiating and costly low level fragmentation. The effectiveness of the Linaro approach has been demonstrated by Linaro’s growing membership, and by Linaro consistently being listed as one of the top five company contributors, worldwide, to Linux kernels since 3.10.

To ensure commercial quality software, Linaro’s work includes comprehensive test and validation on member hardware platforms. The full scope of Linaro engineering work is open to all online. To find out more, please visit http://www.linaro.org and http://www.96Boards.org.

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