What is the '96' in 96boards?


What does the ‘96’ in the name of this organization refer to?

Evidently not the number of pins on the interconnect, as in S-100 and PC/104, since 96Board expansion connectors have 40+60 pins.

Is it something about the board size? The year that something significant happened in the life of ARM? The maximum temperature rating?



What I’ve heard is that it means 32 bits + 64 bits = 96, just like ARM Cortex A53 runs in both 32bits and 64bits instruction sets.


Thanks XenFrancisco for your comment. Can anyone confirm XenFrancisco’s hearsay a bit more officially? Is it somewhere in the docs? I do see how 32+64=96, but that seems a rather indirect reference to employ as a branding device. That said, any convincing explanation would at least rid me of the nagging sense that I’m missing a major clue as to what 96Boards is all about!

And while we are at it – what does “Linaro” make reference to? It’s got “Lin” (like linux") and “aro” (“ring” in Spanish), so I guess this is an organization dedicated to using linux on credit-card sized boards to run rings around the competitors?



@gwideman, @XenFrancisco is correct, but not the whole story. When Linaro was discussing the requirement for a standard hardware platform, we thought that if 100 boards were created with a range of SoCs, all running essentially the same software, that would be a successful outcome. We thought about the number a bit and adjusted slightly to 96, for the reason that @XenFrancisco has referred to - the standard was being established for both 32- and 64-bit ARM SoCs and 32+64 = 96.

The Linaro name was selected in 2010, a long time before 96Boards was discussed. I believe “Linaro” was proposed by ARM’s Rob Coombs, who was on secondment to the new company, and people in the founding team liked the sound of it.


Wow Steve – a definitive executive-level answer to my questions – awesome! Thanks!

Maybe you could post that critical info somewhere, like in “About”, it would generate considerable goodwill.

At a meetup last evening, 100% of people I quizzed who had heard of 96boards thought that the ‘96’ probably meant something significant but didn’t know what that was. In various ways, they commented that the obtuseness of this ‘96’ contributed to a sense that 96boards itself was some obtuse thing that it would take effort to penetrate. So, providing an answer, which turns out to have an element of charming aspiration and whimsy, might be a good move!