Panasonic and Sony embrace Linux

18 Dec 2002

Sony and Matsushita (Panasonic) today announced a partnership agreement to work on the development of an enhanced Linux platform for digital home electronic devices.

The companies will aim to apply the fruits of their collaboration to their AV (audiovisual) products and to make the source code available to the public for free, in order to encourage its broader use throughout the industry.

While Linux is well known as an operating system for personal computers and servers, both companies say that it also has an application in the area of digital home devices. The development is expected to prompt shorter start-up times and improved responses.

Matsushita and Sony will evaluate the suitability of the newly developed version of Linux as one of the platforms for digital home electronic devices, such as portable and home AV products. As with earlier versions of Linux, the newly-developed source code will be publicised freely under the general public licence (GPL), which permits free usage and modification. It is hoped that the new co-development programme can further promote technological advancement and wider application of Linux through free exchange of ideas within the open source community.

The two companies are considering the establishment of a forum group based on the results of this co-development, with other electronics companies, in order to expand these activities. Further details will be discussed with the companies supporting this idea such as Hitachi, IBM, NEC, Philips, Samsung and Sharp.

By Dick O’Brien