Intel Joins Open-Source Tools Consortium

The chip giant has teamed with HP, Oracle, SAP and others on the Eclipse campaign for open-source development tools.

Intel Corp. Wednesday announced it has joined the Eclipse Consortium of vendors offering an open-source application development framework.

Intel joins other major platform companies such as Hewlett-Packard Co., Oracle Corp., SAP AG, Hitachi, Fujitsu, Borland Software Corp. and a host of others in the IBM Corp.-sponsored effort to create an open platform for Java-based tools integration.

Intels participation in Eclipse indicates the need for an open, multivendor approach to tooling, Eclipse board officials said.

According to Skip McGaughey, chairperson of the Raleigh, N.C.-based consortium, "Eclipse is a multivendor platform for tool integration, and because Intel represents such a significant portion of the market, it broadens the scope of the platform." McGaughey said Intels involvement in Eclipse is "a clear statement of the markets need for a multivendor tools platform."

For its part, Intel is standardizing its tools for building applications for embedded devices such as cell phones and handhelds on Eclipse in addition to Windows. Java is a major development environment for mobile and wireless applications for devices.

Intel plans to integrate its development tools, such as Intel compilers and Intel VTune performance analyzers, into the Eclipse development environment.

In addition, Intel will deliver plug-ins for the Eclipse development environment to help developers optimize applications for the companys Pentium 4, Xeon and Itanium processor-based systems. Intels Eclipse Board of Stewards representative will be Jonathan Khazam, general manager of Intels Software Products Division, company officials said.

"Intel is pleased to participate as a member of Eclipse and will play an active role in fostering tool interoperability and integration within the Eclipse framework," Khazam said in a statement. "Our commitment to open standards and deep knowledge of processor architecture will help us enable software developers to harness the full power of Intel processors for applications."

"Intels primary focus is to drive the market for their chips, and they dont really care whose brand of software is running on them," said Jason Bloomberg, an analyst with ZapThink LLC, a Cambridge, Mass.-based market research firm. "I doubt that Intels participation in Eclipse will cause any problems to the Wintel duopoly—after all, Eclipse software runs on Windows. As companies move up the layers of abstraction to Web Services and Service-Oriented Architectures, it becomes less important what operating systems or hardware platforms are under the covers, so Intel is simply trying to cover their bets so that their chips are found in as many places as possible."