When I think back to the first Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit, I start to realize how much work the community has gotten done over the last five years. Since meeting at Google's headquarters in June 2007, we've seen real advancements for Linux in super computing, cloud computing and virtualization. There are really interesting things that have happened around high-availablity (HA), for example, that you will see first-hand at the upcoming Collaboration Summit. Working Groups at The Linux Foundation have also been hard at work on Accessibility, Networking, Device Drivers, Open Printing and Open Compliance, just to name a few. But perhaps no area of computing has gotten the attention in recent years for Linux as mobile and embedded. And, of course, this is one of the primary areas of emphasis on this year's schedule.
To get more insight into what's going in today in this area, we caught up with Mark Charlebois, Director of Open Source Strategy at Qualcomm Innovation Center. He shares a sneak peek at what we can expect from his keynote on April 6 as well as what we should expect in mobile and embedded Linux during 2011.
Q: You will be delivering a keynote address at The Linux Foundation's Collaboration Summit in April titled "Mobile Demand Drives Linux Innovation." Can you give us a sneak peek into what we can expect out of that talk?
Charlebois: People are integrating multiple mobile devices into their daily lives at an astounding pace. As the fastest selling smartphone platform, Linux via Android presents the opportunity for continued innovation around how hardware, software, and connectivity are integrated to create exceptional user experiences. The landscape of mobile Linux continues to change rapidly, and while there is still some fragmentation, the new and exciting opportunities for mobile app developers are really just beginning.
Q: What would Qualcomm Innovation Center like to see happen in the mobile and embedded Linux community?How does the work done there translate into market success for Qualcomm and others?
Charlebois: The trend toward multi-core devices with powerful graphics processing units (GPUs) and digital signal processors (DSPs) will continue, requiring that software take full advantage of the resources in the hardware architecture. Improving the tools and framework that enable dynamic allocation of resources across heterogeneous compute units will help developers to create the best possible user experiences on mobile devices.
Q: By the time we come together in San Francisco for the Collaboration Summit, we'll be a quarter of the way into 2011. What can we expect to see happen in the mobile and embedded Linux market by this time next year?
Charlebois: 2011 will be the year of dual-core mobile devices. Enhanced device capabilities, coupled with ubiquitous connectivity are changing the way people choose to access data. We’ll see more tablets come to market, as well as innovations in gaming and HD video. New smartphones will become increasingly capable, exceeding the power and performance of many of the PCs, laptops and netbooks that are used to access the internet today. 2011 should be an exciting year for mobile.
Q: Finally, 2011 marks the 20th anniversary of Linux. What's your favorite Linux milestone so far?
Charlebois: Seeing Android (and therefore Linux) devices outsell mobile devices running on other platforms; this bodes well for Linux, which has a competitive user experience that will be around for a long time to come.
More information on Mark's talk can be found on the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit schedule. Also check out the Android Builder Summit and Embedded Linux Conferences taking place the following week.