Not satisfied with your Android ICS-powered device? Do you feel a bit lacking in performance and think that you can still squeeze more juice out of your device? A group of developers also feels the same way and that’s why they decided to optimize Google’s latest OS and bring it up to about 30-100% increase in performance.
Just a bit of a background before we get all geeky up in here. Linaro is a non-profit engineering organization established by a group of companies (ARM, Freescale, IBM, Samsung, ST-Ericsson and Texas Instrument) some two years ago. This group comprises of over 120 talented engineers whose goal is to provide their â€œmembersâ€ (the term they used to address the founding companies) with innovations to improve the quality of their products through cost-effective solutions and software optimizations.
Sticking to their open-engineering roots, theyâ€™re also well-known for their transparency on their works. From their progress on their work down to the finish product, Linaroâ€˜s work are open for public viewing/scrutiny. As a testament to the group’s ingenuity and free-for-all ideology, theyâ€™ve recently announced their latest software build called â€œ4.0.4 Linaroâ€ that addresses some of the Android Ice Cream Sandwich’s performance issues on devices with ARM-based processors.
Here’s a short video clip courtesy of ARMDEVICES.NET
In this comparison, the group used two identical TI OMAP 4430 SoC (System-on-Chip) processor rigged in what they call a â€œPandaBoardâ€ with one running on stock Android 4.0.4 and the other Linaro 4.0.4. This is the same processor under the Galaxy Nexusâ€™ hood. Based on the results of the synthetic benchmark that theyâ€™ve done, theyâ€™re optimized version of ICS finished the test faster than the former even though the engineer gave it a couple of seconds of head start.
The group was able to achieve this marvelous feat by having a deeper understanding on how the OS works and mastery of the hardware components. By doing so they were able to sort out the pros and the cons of the official ICS. From there, theyâ€™ve altered some of the codes and running GCC toolchain. What GCC toolchain and how it does its thing is beyond me. But to put in a more simple and human-understandable way, theyâ€™ve optimized how the OS executes commands more seamlessly. And with better set of source codes this may even address battery life issues which are common to smartphones.
These innovations certainly look promising. A bump in the overall performance in your Android devices is definitely a welcome improvement, and one that is hard to pass up. What’s even better is that well-known third-party OS developer Cyanogenmod was deeply impressed with Linaro’s code and have already integrated it on their CM9 Nightly build. It is reported that the unofficial Cyanogenmod’s Linaro optimized CM9 Nightly OS runs like a charm with Galaxy Nexus. If you own one, you can give it a try and hit us back with your experience.
As for the team Linaro, theyâ€™ve without a doubt made their mark on the Android ecosystem with their OS build. In our opinion they would certainly be a great addition to Google’s Android development team. The big question here is will Google acquire the Linaro team and if they decide to do so how would this play out with the original â€œmembersâ€ of the team. Your guess is as good as ours. For now feel free to chime in with your thought about the Linaro 4.0.4.