Project Linaro Makes Android a Lot Faster

A new build of Android by an initiative called Project Linaro claims to be 30 to 100 times faster than stock Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich.

Linaro is an open source software project by a non-profit organization composed of more than 120 engineers specialized in optimizing open-source software based on ARM SoCs.

The latest available version of Android has already received praise for being much faster, especially when compared to its earlier versions such as Froyo or Gingerbread, so this declaration by Linaro is quite impressive.

Linaro offers proof for its claim via a video that showcases the capabilities of the build versus stock Android on two Texas Instruments Pandaboard units. The Pandaboard runs the TI OMAP 4430 processor, which may also be found on the Droid RAZR smartphone. The video shows a member of the Linaro team running a benchmark test on the two units. In the video, even if the unit with the stock Android was given a short headstart, the unit with Linaro was able to catch up because of its sheer speed.

Already, the achievement by the Linaro team has been noticed. In fact, some parts of its code have already been sent to the CM9 gerrit. It is expected that this will soon be added to the primary CM9 code. When this happens, all devices supported by CM9 will be experiencing an increase in performance speed. Unfortunately, as with other developments being undertaken on CM, it is not known when exactly this will occur.

For those who cannot wait, however, an unofficial CM9 build with some parts of the Linaro code is already available on the Galaxy Nexus for testing.

Meanwhile, for those who want to get involved in the project, Linaro is accepting the sponsorship from SoC providers, Linux organizations, and ARM licensees. They furthermore have something called the Linaro Partner program which facilitates contributions of resources from organizations concentrated on the development of Linux like OEMS, technology and software providers, carriers, among others.

One Reply to “Project Linaro Makes Android a Lot Faster”

  1. Interesting how myths begin to develop.

    We showed a particular benchmark that ended up being twice as fast as stock Android, and another one that showed our build to be 30% faster.

    So someone reported it’s 30% to 100% faster than stock (which is not something we ever said, of course the improvement depends heavily on what you’re doing).

    The next report turns “30% to 100%” into “30 to 100 times” faster.

    In a real world application, the improvement can be expected to be anywhere between 10% and 40%, with most things falling in the 20% to 30% range.

    The absolute theoretical maximum (result of a benchmark I wrote to measure just the results of some rewritten functions – using just memchr() and strlen() and nothing else) is a 500% increase. (This will obviously not occur in any real world application, you can’t write anything that makes sense using just those 2 functions. They are, however, very commonly used, so you will see an impact under most conditions).

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