Ericsson inks deals with ARM, Red Hat

Stockholm-based telecommunications equipment supplier L.M. Ericsson Telephone Co. this week signed deals with Linux vendor Red Hat Inc. and chip design company ARM Holdings, aiming to strengthen its home communications products unit.

Under a strategic initiative announced on Tuesday, Ericsson said it will use Red Hat's software in forthcoming consumer products. In addition, Ericsson and Red Hat will also co-develop Linux-based services aimed at telecommunications operators as well as ISPs (Internet service providers) and ASPs (application service providers), Ericsson said in a statement.

The first result of the cooperation will be the use of the Embedded Red Hat Linux operating system in Ericsson's forthcoming Cordless Screen Phone, a WebPad-like device for accessing the Internet and making phone calls. First unveiled in late February at the CeBIT show in Hanover, the device is scheduled to ship in the U.S. before year's end, with other markets to follow. [See "CEBIT - Ericsson's Entry Stirs Up WebPad Scene," Feb. 28.]Ericsson and Red Hat will also cooperate on open technologies, such as the Embedded Red Hat GNU development tools, that will be made freely available to developers.

Separately, Ericsson on Monday also announced that it is licensing a processor core from Cambridge, England-based ARM for use in Bluetooth devices and products aimed at providing faster Internet access for home users.

Ericsson plans to use the ARM7TDMI processor core in system-on-a-chip designs, and said that the core provides for a scalable and efficient platform for Bluetooth and consumer communications products. Bluetooth is an emerging wireless personal area networking technology that allows devices to communicate within a 10-meter radius.

Financial terms of the deals with ARM and Red Hat were not disclosed.

Ericsson, in Stockholm, can be reached at +46-8-719-0000 or via the Web at Red Hat, in Durham, North Carolina, is at +1-919-547-0012, or at ARM, in Cambridge, England, is at +44-1223-400400, or at

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