Page last updated at 01:52 GMT, Monday, 17 November 2008

Ubuntu set to debut on netbooks

G1 phone, PA
Chips based on ARM designs power the majority of smart phones

Mobile phone chip designer Arm has announced an alliance with the makers of the Ubuntu open source software.

The deal will produce a version of the operating system for small net-browsing computers known as netbooks.

It marks a departure for Arm, which before now has been best known for designing the chips inside smartphones and feature phones.

The new operating system for Arm-powered machines looks set to be available in April 2009.

Battery power

Rob Coombs, director of mobile marketing at Arm, said he expected to see the first devices running the version of Ubuntu by the time of the Computex show in June.

The devices will be based around the Arm7 architecture and, in particular, the Cortex A8 and A9 processors.

"It's significant in that it is taking Arm onto larger screen formats," he said.

The resultant netbooks were likely to sport screens up to 25cm (10in) across and be able to run good quality video, web browsers, and the well-known suite of Open Office programs, said Mr Coombs.

Equally, he said, these netbook devices would have the long battery life enjoyed by many mobiles.

"They'll be for people who want a small internet-centric device," he said.

In a statement Jane Silber, of Canonical, Ubuntu's commercial sponsor, said: "This is a natural development for Ubuntu, driven by the demand from manufacturers for an ARM technology-based version."

Small form-factor notebooks have proved hugely popular with many people looking for a small device that they can use to go online while out and about.

The interest in the market sector is being driven by devices such as the XO laptop from the One Laptop Per Child project and the Eee machine from Asus.

Arm produces chip designs that firms such as TI, Qualcomm and many others turn into processors that power 70-80% of the world's mobiles.

Arm-designed chips also drive many smartphones such as the G1 - the first phone powered by Google's Android software.

The tie-up with Arm builds on Canonical's announcement in May 2007 that it would develop versions of Ubuntu specifically for low-cost note books.

Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Getting to grips with Linux
03 Sep 08 |  Technology
Dell to use Ubuntu on Linux PCs
01 May 07 |  Business
PC users to invent ideal machine
02 Nov 08 |  Technology
Linux evolves for mobile devices
08 May 07 |  Technology
Space tourist promotes open source
24 Oct 06 |  Technology
Ubuntu 'reaping Linux dividend'
21 Apr 08 |  Technology

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2013 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific