Published in Mobiles

ARM sheds light on new Android runtime

by on05 May 2015

Big ART upgrade expected

Android is about to get big overhaul of its ART runtime, but details are still sketchy. The update could appear in the next big release, but there is no official info at this time. 

News of the new runtime comes from ARM engineer Ashok Bhat, who recently revealed a few details. The pointed out that the new runtime will be a major overhaul of ART, which evolved from Dalvik, used on previous, 32-bit versions of Android.

According to Tom’s Hardware, Google has been working on an entirely new runtime and it’s possible that the compiler has been written from scratch. This will allow the new runtime to use “ahead-of-time” compilation in a much more efficient way than ART.

According to ARM, the new compiler will have a “very simple” register allocation algorithm, which will reduce the amount of code that needs to be executed. The compiler is being described as a “big leap forward” for compiler technologies. It will enable better infrastructure for future optimisations, and improve code quality.

ARM even shared a few performance figures, although it’s a bit too early to pass judgement because the compiler is still in development. ARM’s figures point to a 7-10% increase in compilation size and speed, which translates into a 15% performance gain in Linpack ST, or about 40% in good old Quadrant.

Of course, it’s not just about performance. Having to deal with less code and smaller files should be good for battery life as well.

Last modified on 06 May 2015
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