RISC-V architecture for Android – Google gave tools to developers “to be ready” (for the transition from Arm)

by alex

Архитектура RISC-V для Android – Google дала инструменты разработчикам, «чтобы были готовы» (к переходу от Arm)

Android is gradually entering the era of RISC-V architecture, a future competitor to Arm, which is currently used by almost all mobile devices. Google wants to give this processor architecture “layer-1” support in Android, putting RISC-V on par with Arm.

The first mass-produced RISC-V chip for Android is being created by Qualcomm. Now Google has announced the release of developer tools through its blog titled “Android and RISC-V: What You Need to Know to Be Ready.”

Adapting Android and apps to the new architecture requires incredible work from Google and developers, and these tools need to lay the foundation, ArsTechnica reports.

First , Google has already launched the Cuttlefish virtual device emulator, including a download file. This is not an official “Android Emulator” aimed at app developers, but a hardware emulator of the Android OS for development, targeting the bottom half of the technology stack – the kernel, frameworks and hardware bits.

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Cuttlefish allows Google and other Android OS developers to work on a RISC-V Android compilation. Google claims that the system is already working, it can be downloaded and emulated RISC-V devices, but the time for optimization has not yet come.

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Архитектура RISC-V для Android – Google дала инструменты разработчикам, «чтобы были готовы» (к переходу от Arm)

The next step is to launch an Android emulator for app developers , Google says:

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By 2024, we plan to make emulators generally available, with a full set of functions for testing applications for different device form factors!

A nice feature of Android is that most application code is written without taking into account the architecture – in the Java/Kotlin programming languages. Therefore, at least initially, many applications will have the “backbone” to run on the RISC-V architecture. It has the advantage of being open source, so you won't have to pay Arm license fees. However, there are also disadvantages, in particular, it will be easier for Chinese enterprises to obtain the rights to produce the chips with which all Android applications must work.

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