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Android open source project port aimed at ARMv8 architecture

11 Jul 2014  | Graham Prophet

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Linaro, the collaborative engineering organisation developing open source software for the ARM architecture, has revealed that a port of the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) to the ARMv8-A architecture has been made available as part of the Linaro 14.06 release. This port has been tested on an ARMv8-A 64bit hardware development platform, code-named Juno, available from ARM for lead and ecosystem partners.

The Linaro ARMv8-A reference software stack combined with the ARM Development Platform (ADP) provides the ARM ecosystem with a foundation to accelerate 64bit Android availability on silicon. ARM partners now have access to a 64bit and 32bit AOSP file system, together with a range of supporting material including the ARMv8 Fast Models, open source tool chain from Linaro and supporting documentation.

The ARM ecosystem is rapidly preparing for the benefits a 64bit ARM architecture will bring to devices starting this year, said James McNiven, GM of systems and software at ARM. Our collaboration with Linaro will enable our partners to create devices that will drive the best next-generation mobile experience on 64bit Android operating systems, while also providing full compatibility with today's 32bit mobile ecosystem that is optimised on ARM-v7A.

The Linaro 14.06 release includes a 64bit primary/32bit secondary binary image and source code based on the Linaro Stable Kernel (LSK) 3.10 for Android, compiled with GCC 4.9 and tested on both the ARMv8-A 64bit hardware platform and ARMv8-A Fast Models. The AOSP is based on the Open Master snapshot downloaded on June 1st with HDMI drivers loaded as modules. The release is built with the Android real-time (ART) compiler as the default virtual machine with the same source supporting both 32bit and 64bit user spaces on hardware and virtual platforms. Peripheral and advanced power management support plus several accelerations will not be available in this release, but will follow in future releases at monthly intervals.

We have been using ARM Fast Models to develop 64bit ports for AOSP for a long time and it is testament to the quality of our collaborative engineering that we have delivered them running on the ARMv8-A hardware platform so quickly, said George Grey, Linaro CEO.

The ARMv8-A hardware development platform includes an SoC with a quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU and dual-core ARM Cortex-A57 CPU in an ARM big.LITTLE processing configuration with a quad-core ARM Mali-T624 GPU linked via ARM CoreLink system IP and implemented using ARM Artisan physical IP. The development platform with its ARMv8-A software stack provides ARM software and silicon partners with a common foundation to accelerate their ARMv8-A software development.

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