At LinuxCon Europe this week in Prague, the Linux Foundation announced the Long Term Support Initiative (LTSI) project created by its Consumer Electronics (CE) workgroup.

The announcement says the LTSI will provide an annual release of a Linux kernel suitable for supporting the lifespan of consumer electronics products, as well as two years of regular updates for those releases.

Long Term Support Initiative

The LTSI project is supported by Hitachi, LG Electronics, NEC, Panasonic, Qualcomm Atheros, Renesas Electronics Corporation, Samsung Electronics, Sony and Toshiba. The Linux Foundation will host the project to maintain a common Linux base. The Linux Foundation announcement says:

This new initiative is crucial because device makers are doing significant back-porting, bug testing and driver development on their own, which carries substantial cost in terms of time-to-market, as well as development and engineering effort to maintain those custom kernels. Through collaboration in this initiative, these CE vendors will reduce the duplication of effort currently prevalent in the consumer electronics industry."

The LTSI tree should be a usable base for most embedded systems, semiconductor vendors, set-vendors, software component vendors, distributors, and other providers. Amanda McPherson, Vice President of Marketing and Developer Services at The Linux Foundation, tells CMSWire:

We all know consumer electronics vendors have embraced Linux in their products. It's great to see them start the LTSI project to take advantage of the collaborative software development model in their implementations of Linux. Any time a vendor can decrease complexity and speed time to market it's a win for them. By working more closely with the mainline kernel development community, the CE vendors can increase their participation upstream to benefit all users."

CE Workgroup

The CE workgroup, a successor of the CE Linux Forum that was established in 2003 to develop Linux-based embedded devices, merged with the Linux Foundation back in 2010. Past projects includeDirectFB enhancement, U-boot and kexecboot improvements, and Squashfs and YAFFS mainlining. The workgroup first proposed the LTSI project at a birds of a feather (BoF) gathering at LinuxCon North America in August.

Busy Days at the Linux Foundation

Yesterday, Greg Kroah-Hartman, member of the Technical Advisory board of The Linux Foundation, also announced the release of the 3.0.8 Linux kernel. And in September, the LiMo Foundation and Linux Foundation announced a partnership to merge the LiMo and MeeGo mobile platforms and develop a new mobile operating system called "Tizen". The Linux Foundation will host the Tizen initiative, and Intel and Samsung will lead development. Other manufacturers and mobile networks, including Panasonic and NEC, have also pledged support to that project.