Qualcomm, which has long had a major position in mobile chip sets and standards, has joined the open source movement with an eye to leading it.
The company formed a new unit called Qualcomm Innovation Center (QuIC), under a senior vice president, and it joined the board of directors of the Symbian Foundation.
The idea behind the QuIC is to push open source, including systems like Chrome, Webkit and Android as well as Symbian, the company said.
Qualcomm is doing this to support its Snapdragon chip set, a CPU and graphics chip package designed for low power and handheld devices, most based on Linux. These include what Qualcomm calls smartbooks, netbook-phone hybrids on which Chinese manufacturers like Acer, Asus and HTC are already working.
The move should also be seen in light of recent moves by Intel to support mobile open source. Matt Asay writes that pigs are beginning to fly and hes right.