Platinum is the highest level of membership for the Linux Foundation and allegedly costs upwards of $500,000 (USD) per year to reach this support level. Of the hundreds of corporations supporting the Linux Foundation, the only platinum members previous today were IBM, NEC, Qualcomm Innovation Center, Oracle, Intel, and Fujitsu. Now, Samsung has joined this small group of companies to support Linux at the highest level.
Samsung becoming a platinum member of the Linux Foundation is certainly for a Linux mobile/device play. Samsung's smart-phones and tablets are among the most popular Android devices on the market across many different regions. Samsung has also become heavily involved with Intel on the development of the Linux-based Tizen platform. Through Tizen, Samsung is looking to differentiate itself from the other Android device vendors.
Other Linux / open-source work done by Samsung past and present includes sponsoring the development of Enlightenment, created an open-source ARM DRM driver, and more.
The press release announcing Samsung Electronics joining the Linux Foundation at the highest level can be found at LinuxFoundation.org.
Another company to have joined the Linux Foundation recently was NVIDIA Corp, which was a silver-level member, and so far that doesn't have seemed to change anything for the company that still prefers binary blobs for Linux graphics drivers.