Two Linux groups said on Wednesday they would combine their technologies to create a new operating software platform for a range of mobile devices led by Intel and Samsung Electronics.
LiMo Foundation and the Linux Foundation said the new Tizen platform is an open-source, standards-based software platform that supports multiple devices including smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, netbooks and in-vehicle 'infotainment' systems.
The initial release of Tizen is planned for the first quarter of 2012, enabling the first devices using the platform to come to market in mid-2012, the two groups said.
The world's largest semiconductor firm Intel, which also has its own MeeGo Linux version, and Samsung Electronics, the second biggest maker of cell phones and one of the key contributors to LiMo, will head the technical steering committee of the new platform.
Linux-based operating systems have already gained traction in mobile devices with Google Inc's Android rising to the top spot in global smartphone rankings, but the market share for other Linux variants has been marginal.
Samsung is the leading manufacturer using Google's Android platform, but a spokesman for the company said the move was in line with the company's strategy.
We've been a core Linux partner ... and this is in line with our strategy of supporting many platforms, a Samsung spokesman in Seoul said.
Linux is the most popular type of free or so-called open source computer operating system, which is available to the public to be used, revised and shared.
Linux suppliers earn money selling improvements and technical services.
(Additional reporting by Miyound Kim in Seoul; Editing by Matt Driskill and Greg Mahlich)