Linaro brings Ice Cream Sandwich & Oneiric Ocelot together on ARM boards
Open-source software engineering group Linaro has pushed out a build of Android Ice Cream Sandwich for low-cost development boards from Samsung and ST-Ericsson. The build supports hardware acceleration for Systems on a Chip utililzing ARM's Mali-400 graphics processor.
Linaro is a year-old nonprofit group that focuses on optimizing open-source software for the ARM architecture; and besides ARM, its due-paying members include Freescale, IBM, Samsung, ST-Ericsson, and Texas Instruments. It creates ARM hardware-optimized middleware upon which developers and OEMs can build their own Android or Ubuntu distributions.
Today, the company rolled out Linaro 11.12, which supports the Samsung Origen development board and ST-Ericcson Snowball development boards in addition to the Texas Instruments PandaBoard and Freescale i.MX53 Quick Start board.
On Origen and Snowball, support for ARM's Mali-400 hardware accelerated graphics has been added, and some early graphical performance tests can be seen in the videos we've embedded below.
Additionally, this new build of the Linaro Toolchain uses the latest GNU Compiler Collection (GCC 4.6) to build Android, and the company says it gives developers early access to the performance improvements Linaro has been developing for the next release of GCC, including features that allow software to manually or automatically parallelize compute tasks across the multiple cores in the chips.
But in a broader sense, this middleware puts Android and Ubuntu development on a relatively level playing field...or at least in the same general league, a place Canonical said Ubuntu belongs.